Wichita State News

$48K Gore Scholarship given to Kansas high school seniors

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kansas high school seniors Jenice Duong and Sarah Thompson have won Wichita State University’s Harry Gore Memorial Scholarships.

The scholarships, awarded annually at WSU, recognize leadership and academic skills and are the largest undergraduate scholarships in Kansas.

Duong, a senior at Wichita East High School, and Thompson, a senior at Salina South High School, will receive $12,000 a year for four years to attend Wichita State, totaling $48,000 each.

Jenice Duong

Jenice Duong
Jenice Duong
Duong is the daughter of Dieu and Jenny Pham. She is in the International Baccalaureate program at East High, where she carries a 3.94 GPA.

She plans to major in computer science at Wichita State.

Duong is involved in a multitude of activities at East, including journalism, cheerleading, orchestra, yearbook and the French National Honor Society.

Her many volunteer duties have included tutoring fellow students and volunteering with the Junior League of Wichita and March of Dimes.

Sharon K. Martin, Duong’s journalism professor at East, said a couple of words help describe her pupil’s leadership potential: vision and determination.

“Jen has the talent of seeing the goal, dreaming the possible and pursing that doggedly,” Martin said. “When committed, Jen will make personal sacrifices in order to gather the information that she needs and then work day and night to see a project completed to the utmost of her ability.”

Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson
Sarah Thompson
Thompson is the daughter of Kenny and Amy Thompson. Her major at WSU is undecided, but she is aiming for something in the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Thompson has a long list of extracurricular activities to keep her busy. Among them are student council, Junior Leadership Salina, orchestra, drama club, debate swimming and golf.

Her community service includes the American Red Cross, Vacation Bible School, summer camp counselor and Relay for Life.

Loren Banninger, an instructor at Salina South, has known Thompson all four years of high school. He said one of her best attributes is her trustworthiness and ability to work with others.

“Sarah is not afraid to voice her opinions, but she will listen to other input before making the final call,” he said. “She is very grounded in her beliefs. Sarah Thompson is a leader.”


Duong and Thompson competed in the largest Distinguished Scholarship Invitational in history, with 375 competitors.

To be invited to compete in the invitational, students had to 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.

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Created on Thursday, December 10, 2009; Last modified on Friday, December 11, 2009