A Laramie High School student was awarded the STARR Charitable Foundation Scholarship.

Sarah Beth Holles, a LHS senior, applied for the STARR scholarship after she received information about it in Oct.

“I initially wasn’t sure about applying for it. I was going to be swimming at the times initial meetings were to be held about the scholarship. My parents pushed me to apply though and I’m glad they did,” Holles said.

The STARR scholarship pays all regular costs for eight semesters at Michigan State University including tuition, fees, books, room, and board.

It is offered to Wyoming students as well as students in the Michigan Upper Peninsula.

After the initial information Holles had until November 1st to submit the required materials which included an application, four essays and three letters of recommendation.

The scholarship also has the criteria that any STARR scholars must show academic interest and achievement by obtaining a 3.0 GPA or higher and must demonstrate distinguished character and leadership skills.

Holles went through three to four drafts for the essays, which were each only 250 words in length.

The essays primarily asked her to write topics relating to various leadership skills, characteristics, and experiences.

“The parts they really seemed to stress most about this scholarship were your leadership skills and character. Academics were part of it too, but if I hadn’t been involved in the extra curriculars I have been, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the scholarship,” Holles said.

According to the selection criteria for the STARR scholarship, students with higher academic averages than what is required aren’t given preference until they demonstrate the personal traits and leadership skills that the scholarship is looking for.

While working on the essays, Holles also did networking to find the best people to write the letters of recommendation.

“When looking for letters of recommendation my first thought was who’s going to provide a unique perspective. So, I went to my swim coach because they could attest to my hard work in swimming,” Holles said, “I also went to Mrs. Bush and to my teacher, Mrs. Todd for similar reasons.”

Holles submitted the essay and heard back in Dec when she was told she was scheduled for an interview sometime in Jan.

She found out in Feb she received the scholarship and just in the last week she went up to tour the campus in anticipation of her attendance there.