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West High Student Named 2021 General Sterling Scholar

Eight total West students advanced to finals 

West High student Daphne Liu was named the Sterling Scholar winner in the area of Science as well as the General Sterling Scholar winner for the Wasatch Front Region at the awards program held Thursday, March 18. 

Daphne was part of a strong West High showing as eight of the school’s candidates moved on to the final round. Alicia Zhang (Art), and McKenzie Shafer-Kay (English) were both in the Top 12 of their categories. Ella Kennedy-Yoon (Dance), Sylvia Xi (Skilled and Technical Education) and Sachin Sundar (Business and Marketing) were all runners-up (Top 3). Angela Layton (Computer Technology), Vishal Jammulapati (World Languages) and Daphne (Science) were each category winners. As category winners, the last three were all considered for overall Sterling Scholar, which Daphne won. 

Here is a little about each of the runners-up and category winners: 

Daphne was one of 86 international students selected for a 6-week research camp with the Research Science Institute.  She placed first in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and was invited to present at the NIH headquarters.  She is the founder of West High's Stem for All and volunteers in the community to expose underrepresented groups to the real world of the stem industry.  

Vishal serves as President of MUN and is the co-founder of Global Youth Climate Action Declaration.  He has first place best Arabic honors for several prestigious competitions including the Qatar Debate US Nationals.  He has earned the seal of biliteracy in Arabic and French. 

Angela holds several leadership positions at school and is also a student board member for Women Tech Counsel, SheTech.  She is the developer of the True Time Productivity app that won the Congressional app challenge for Utah.  Angela is also the founder of a mental health podcast, "Literally My Life". 

Ella has excelled in dance from a young age.  She landed a leading role in the Children's Dance Theater at just 13.  She was the first seventh grade admitted to the WHS Dance Company and is currently serving as the President.   

Sylvia is one of four students selected for the Northrup Gruman Aerospace and Defense Company High School Internship Program.  She was honored by the National Chinese Association for Science and Technology with the Young Elite Award in outstanding Student Scholarship.   

Sachin is one of the top 10 future business leaders nationally.  He is also the founder/president of Utah Branch, Wing Span Solutions, a community organization that raises awareness of health disparity. 

A Sterling Scholar is a high school senior who is publicly recognized and awarded for the pursuit of excellence in scholarship, leadership and citizenship in the State of Utah.  A potential Sterling Scholar presents an all-encompassing portfolio on their work in a specific category and is interviewed by judges in the category’s field at various times.  Sterling Scholars are awarded at the high school, semi-final and finals levels.  At the awards ceremony, finalists in 14 categories are announced and then an overall Sterling Scholar winner is also announced. 

Runner-Up Winners are awarded a $1,000 scholarship and category winners receive a $2,500 scholarship.  The overall winner also receives a $2,500 scholarship for a total of $5,000.  Finalists are also offered a variety of scholarship opportunities at the various colleges and universities in Utah.   

The Deseret News and KSL Broadcast Group developed the program especially to focus attention on outstanding seniors in order to recognize them publicly as well as award cash scholarships and tuition waivers from participating institutions. The Sterling Scholar Awards Program seeks to commend and encourage excellence among all nominees. All nominees are judged equally on the basis of scholastic achievement without regard to religion, sex, political preference or national origin.

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