North Allegheny senior receives full scholarship

When Hannah Shin found out she was a Cameron Impact Scholar, one of 15 in the country to receive a four-year merit-based scholarship to the university of her choice, she didn’t not hold back her tears.

The North Allegheny eldest won the prestigious scholarship through the Bryan Cameron Foundation named after philanthropist and founder Bryan Cameron of San Francisco.

More than 2,700 students applied for the scholarship in all 50 states and were narrowed down to around 100 finalists, before selecting the final class of 2022, including Shin.

This means that when she decides to fully commit to her choice of Harvard University in the fall, her tuition will be fully covered.

Despite an impressive resume of academic and extracurricular achievements — her weighted GPA is 4.71 — Shin didn’t expect to receive the scholarship, so she held out hope.

“I really didn’t know what to expect,” said Shin, who found out she was a finalist last June. An in-depth online interview followed in October, conducted by members of the foundation’s committee. They called her with the news in December.

A self-proclaimed sentimentalist, Shin said one of the first things she did was get in her car and drive to Bradford Woods Elementary and Marshall Middle School, in ode to her early days in the district. It made her think of all the positive influences and support she had from school, mentors and family.

“If you take a person out of the picture, they would crumble,” she said.

The whole scholarship process was a challenge in itself, taking several days to complete the online application, including an essay.

Shin is involved in a plethora of academic and charitable organizations, some of which include being Pennsylvania State President DECA, a career and technical student organization; Youth Council Co-Chair, Discussion Moderator for the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh; and a HERLead Fellow with Vital Voices Global Partnership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women in politics, economics, and human rights.

At North Allegheny, she is the head captain of Tiger THON, student representative on the school board, co-president of the fencing club and co-captain of the women’s fencing team, and first flautist and soloist of the North Allegheny Honors Wind Together.

Shin, 17, lives in Franklin Park with his parents, “the most humble people I know,” and an older brother, Joseph, who attends the University of Pittsburgh.

She helps lead the North Allegheny chapter of Rotary International. Shin was selected as one of eight members and the only American high school student to represent more than 350,000 young people on the Rotary International Board of Directors.

Shin said Rotary is one of his most beneficial activities because it allows interaction with his peers around the world.

Shin is the founder and executive director of Elderly Embrace Care Network with her brother Joseph, where they lead a team of young people to build relationships with the elderly. Another special project for her volunteering with the Emmaus Pittsburgh nonprofit community, where she hosts “Story Time with Hannah” and reads classic books weekly for adults with developmental disabilities.

“I intentionally got involved in a charity that not only amuses me, but refreshes my soul,” she said.

Shin was a DECA International Finalist and State First Place Winner in the Buying and Merchandising Operations Research category; received a Gold Medal from the Latin National Examination and a Gold President’s Voluntary Service Award, presented by the President of the United States; and was a band flautist for the Music Educators Association of Pennsylvania. She was also named a United States Youth Program finalist, Coca-Cola Scholarship semi-finalist, and National Merit Scholarship semi-finalist, both ongoing.

Although she has not yet declared a concentration, Shin plans to explore the social sciences and pursue the intersection of public policy and philosophy at Harvard.

Shin acknowledges that she can be busy, but she doesn’t get overwhelmed as she genuinely loves everything she does. She credits the support of her parents, grandparents, family, friends and her Christian faith for keeping her going.

Shin credits many educators in his life, including high school teachers Janelle Lombardi, Lance Rhinehart, Jill Spak, Carolyn Steele and DECA counselor Joanne Sullivan “forever, and I mean always, being there for me”, a- she declared.

She genuinely appreciates the college teachers, especially Melissa Castner, Sheila Dattilo and Daniel Williams, “who recognized and exponentially multiplied my love of learning from the very beginning.”

Shin deeply values ​​his middle, middle, and high school experiences, including his high school principals, district superintendent, and school board.

“All of them continue to prove how NA won the lottery with its administration. Each of them touched me and made me fall deeper in love with our school district,” Shin said.

Dr Natasha Dirda, Principal of NASH, said: “(Hannah) brings a deep love, passion and work ethic to her coursework, volunteering and leadership both at North Allegheny Senior High School and in the community at large.

Cameron Impact Scholars exhibit “a positive commitment to community service, strong leadership qualities, are active in extracurricular activities, and demonstrate strength in academics.”

Natalie Beneviat is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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