Lee’s Summit North High School Graduate Named UMKC Trustees’ Scholar

Kansas City’s university awards seven for 2019

Tia Kahwaji, a spring 2019 Lee’s Summit North High School graduate, has been named a University of Missouri-Kansas City Trustees’ Scholar.

When Kahwaji begins biology/pre-dental studies at UMKC in the fall, she will receive a scholarship valued at $60,000 over four years. Her award is supported by the UMKC Board of Trustees, the founder of the scholarship program.

Kahwaji was a member of the National Honor Society, French Club, French Honor Society, Speech and Debate, youth government, orchestra and the tennis team. She was in the top one percent of her class, was math student of the year for three years, Questbridge College Prep Scholar, Questbridge National College Match finalist and KC Scholars award recipient. She also tutored elementary school students.

Kahwaji worked at Applebee’s; volunteered six hours a week for a local dentist; gave free tennis lessons to low-income elementary students; volunteered at Coldwater, an organization that provides food and resources to families in need; and participated in a biyearly cleanup program.

In the essay submitted to the Trustees’ Scholars selection committee, Kahwaji said she believes a degree from UMKC will help her achieve her dreams.

“Coupled with my passion for biology is my desire to help others,” Kahwaji said. “I strive to be a catalyst for change in low income and minority communities in Kansas City. With my degree, I can cultivate change through volunteering in places where dental care is not as easily accessible by the people.”

The Trustees’ Scholarship provides educational fees and on-campus room and board for the first two years. In the third and fourth years, the package provides educational fees and $2,000 for room and board. Each Trustees’ Scholar also receives $500 toward books each year.

To qualify as Trustees’ Scholars, students must meet at least two of the following three criteria: score a minimum ACT Composite of 30, rank in the top five percent of the graduating class, or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or more in a 17-class core curriculum. Trustees’ Scholars must enroll full time, be seeking an undergraduate degree and commit to living on campus for the first two years.

The UMKC Trustees’ Scholars Program is unique in that it aligns students closely with corporate sponsors, who give students access to their professional knowledge and experience, insight into the inner workings of the company or institution they represent, and a strong mentor relationship throughout the college experience. Students have opportunities to network and find internships or jobs through the Trustees and their connections in the community.

The UMKC Board of Trustees is a non-profit organization established by civic and community leaders to support the University. Members advocate on the University's behalf, provide community feedback and forge partnerships to help the University achieve its strategic priorities and financial objectives.

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