Athens Student Awarded Park Scholarship


Dawson Tripp is excited to attend NC State in the fall

Nicole Johnson, Copy Editor

Every year, North Carolina State University awards a select few students admittance into the prestigious Park Scholarships program. Among the N.C. State graduating class of 2018 41 students were selected to be Park Scholars, one of them being Athens Drive student Dawson Tripp.

According to the Park Scholarship website, the mission of the Park Scholarship is “to bring exceptional students to N.C. State, based on outstanding accomplishments and potential in scholarship, leadership, service, and character.”

Park Scholars are given exceptional benefits during their tenure at N.C. State, featuring a four-year scholarship valued at $92,000 for in-state students and $149,000 for out-of-state students. These students are also rewarded with developmental services such as mentoring, seminars and civic engagement projects, as well as fun activities such as retreats.

“What I’m looking forward to most is the trips we get to take. It’s possible to travel literally anywhere in the world as long as you show it’s practical,” said Tripp.

Park Scholars are truly able to become world citizens during their time at N.C. State. Before the school year all incoming Park freshmen take a three-day all expenses paid trip where they can all get to know each other better.

The traveling, however, does not end once classes begin. In April two Park Scholars went to the Ukraine to film a documentary about the current civil war. It is also common for Park Scholars to go to villages in third world countries to offer aid to people there.

“It’s funny that some of the best experiences of the Park [Scholarship Program] don’t even happen at State,” said Tripp.

Tripp was one of 29 North Carolinian students chosen to be Park Scholars, and one of seven from Wake County. The selection process is very long, starting with close to 2,000 applicants and eventually lowering to just 100 in the final round.

“By the time it reaches the finalist stage, everyone there deserves to be a Park Scholar. The difference between me and the guy standing next to me is miniscule,” said Tripp.

A major factor that set Tripp apart from other applicants is his involvement in both the Athens Drive and local community. Tripp is a board member for the National Honor Society at Athens and a section leader for the marching band. He was also elected by his peers to be a member of the 2014 Homecoming Court and voted as “Mr. Intelligent” for this year’s Gradman production.

In his community, Tripp is an Eagle Scout, the highest ranking in the Boy Scout program. He also served as a Governor’s page and a Boy’s State Delegate.

“I’m not saying it’s required, but it’s important to show a passion. During my finalist interview, I did my best to convey a passion for teaching. I tied together helping found a Boy Scout troop and my involvement in both extracurricular and occupational tutoring,” said Tripp.

At N.C. State, Tripp plans to major in Engineering. The University is currently ranked at the 29th best Engineering school in the country. Tripp’s other top school was Georgia Tech.

“Although Georgia Tech is a great school, it cost about twice as much as State without scholarships, and it couldn’t compete with the new technology and facilities available at State’s Centennial Campus. After I got the Park scholarship, it pretty much sealed the deal,” said Tripp.