Kansas high school seniors win WSU's Gore Scholarships
Kansas high school students Derick Holmes and Kevin Kraus have won Wichita State University’s Harry Gore Memorial Scholarships.
They will receive $13,000 a year for four years to attend Wichita State, a total of $52,000 each.
Holmes is a senior at Wichita High School Southeast, and Kraus is a senior at Salina South High School.
The scholarships, awarded annually at WSU, recognize leadership and academic skills and are two of the largest undergraduate scholarships in Kansas.
Holmes, who became an Eagle Scout at 14, is interested in studying engineering at Wichita State.
He was a student government representative for three years and was elected class president this year. Holmes is also a member of the Superintendent Advisory Council, National Honor Society and Students Against Destructive Decisions, as well as a graduate of the Wichita State Shocker Leadership Academy.
A state champion bowler, Holmes spends a lot of time volunteering at the YMCA, Bob Dole Veterans Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House.
“Considering Derick's spirit, overwhelming desire to help others and to be the best person he can be, his potential for leadership is only constrained by availability of opportunities and compatible interests,” said Derek Morgan, Holmes’ scout leader. “Derick is genuinely drawn to help others while sharpening himself in the process, and he does so in a giving, selfless style.”
Kraus – a three-year varsity captain of the Scholars Bowl team – is interested in studying aerospace engineering at WSU.
He is a member of the National Honor Society, Model UN, jazz band and Junior Leadership Salina, as well as co-founder and co-chairman of the Youth Ministry Team.
Kraus served as drum major his sophomore, junior and senior year of high school and received superior ratings for individual solos at regional and state band competitions.
“His impressive intellect notwithstanding, Kevin's ability to lead small groups and class activities was truly exceptional,” said Salina South AP world history teacher Kevin Poland. “When you combine Kevin's intellect, rhetoric skills and historiography skills, Kevin was able to balance opinions, sources and evidence to effectively lead a discussion.”
To be considered for the Gore Scholarships, Holmes and Kraus competed in the Distinguished Scholarship Invitational in November. Students must have a 24 or higher ACT score and a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA.
Gore scholarships have been awarded annually since 1954 to freshmen entering WSU who display outstanding potential for leadership. Theodore and Ralph Gore established the Harry Gore Memorial Scholarship in 1952.
A nine-member committee was tasked with choosing the two recipients of the Gore Scholarship this year, and 328 high school seniors participated in the competition.