Four Mesa students are among the 82 high school seniors across Arizona chosen as semifinalists for the prestigious Flinn Scholarship.

Selected from over 1,000 applicants were Mesa residents Marina Abdelmalak, a Chandler Preparatory Academy senior; Jakob Dueck of Dobson High, Elizabeth Ghartey of BASIS Mesa and Quinlan Harris of Red Mountain High School.

They and the other semifinalists will interview this week and the overall group will be winnowed down to about 40 finalists before 20 seniors are selected in April for the scholarship. Since 1986, the Flinn Foundation has awarded 20 seniors from across the state with a scholarship worth more than $130,000 to pay for tuition, housing, meals at the state’s three public universities.

The semifinalists represent 59 traditional public, charter, and private high schools, and include one home-schooled student from Maricopa, Coconino, Gila, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai, and Yuma counties

One benefit of the full-ride scholarship is the ability to explore different areas of study without the worry of debt, and Mesa native Nathaniel Ross is a perfect example of that.

In November, the American Rhodes Scholar Class of 2023 announced 32 students had won the prestigious scholarship/ This October, Ross will begin his studies at England’s University of Oxford, where he plans to pursue a Master of Philosophy in comparative social policy and participate with the Oxford Disability Law and Policy Project.

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