Two students finalists for full-tuition scholarship

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Addie Welch

Seniors Emily Cherne (pictured) and Payton Bowdry are finalists for the prestigious Act Six scholarship, which would cover full undergraduate college tuition. Cherne applied to Augsburg. “I probably wanna study education or social work with a minor in Spanish, so then I can give back to the community,” she said.

After an intense application process and two rounds of elimination, seniors Emily Cherne and Payton Bowdry are finalists for the Act Six scholarship. The Urban Ventures scholarship covers full undergraduate tuition to four colleges around the Twin Cities. The opportunity is awarded to 28 “promising urban leaders” who want to make a difference in their city, according to the Act Six website.

Cherne applied to Augsburg College through Act Six and Bowdry to University of Northwestern – St. Paul. Both Cherne and Bowdry are AVID students, and Cherne cites the program as helping her get to where she is now.

“I know how to work with people and so does Payton, so I feel like we’re pretty prepared,” Cherne said. “All the experiences I’ve had being a counselor, leading discussions in class, taking notes…just trying to be a leader the best I can, in any way I can, has been preparing me for this moment,” she continued.

Students applying to Act Six must submit the usual essays, test scores, and letters of recommendations, but the second phase consists of collaborative activities with other applicants. “It’s not hard to get to know each other and be outgoing when you’re a leader, but when you have a bunch of leaders in the whole room, everyone’s playing hard ball,” Cherne explained.

Bowdry agreed. “The most challenging part of this [scholarship] was being watched and recorded during the discussion because it made me extra cautious on what to say,” he said.

The most rewarding part of the process for Cherne includes the support she’s gotten from others. “My parents really wanted me to get this,” Cherne stated. “It would mean a lot to them since I’m the oldest in my family and I’m gonna be the first one in my family to go to university.”

Bowdry cited the religious impact of the scholarship. “Seeing how God works in my life. Thats the reward, knowing that he is really real and he has never left me,” Bowdry stated. He said he sees himself attending University of Northwestern – St. Paul, “and getting another chance to build [his]faith in Christ.”

Some colleges, such as Augsburg, do not expect faith commitment to receive the scholarship. On their website, Urban Ventures states they are, “committed to exploring through Act Six an open conversation about spirituality as it relates to leadership and service in a diverse community.”

Cherne said she plans to study education or social work with a minor in Spanish. “I would’ve liked to see more representation of my race or my ethnicity when I was younger and I didn’t really get to experience that as much. I think it would be kind of nice for students that I could be potentially working with, could see that it is possible to get the scholarship you want, get the job you want,” she said.

“People should apply to [Act Six] next year. It’s a really good opportunity,” Cherne concluded. “Don’t let anything stop you.”