HARTINGTON — A Cedar Catholic senior got the surprise of a lifetime Monday.
Anna Burbach was in band class Monday morning when the class was interrupred by an impromptu celebration.
Burbach was honored as the winner of an $80,000 scholarship to attend the College of Saint Mary in the fall. Her full tuition will be covered because of her work in high school.
Burbach will receive $20,000 a year over the next four years toward her education. She plans on majoring in Chemistry as a pre-med student.
“I actually interviewed for the scholarship in December and have been anxiously waiting for the past four months,” said Burbach. “Knowing that I do have this scholarship has taken a weight off of my shoulders and I could not be more excited for my future at CSM.”
Burbach took part in a Finalist interview a few weeks back, but was caught off guard by the surprise announcement on Monday morning where she learned in front of her peers in band class.
“I think everyone in our student body knows what type of student Anna is and they know she works hard and does all of the right things,” said Cedar Catholic guidance counselor Rob Bengston. “I think it sends a great message to our other students that if you do work hard and if you are a model student that good things can happen.“
Winning the prestigious Marie Curie Scholars Program, and according to a news release, which is “funded in part by the National Science Foundation, provides significant financial support and resources for academically-talented young women who study science or math.”
Only students entering a science field are eligible for the program, and Bengston says Burbach has shaped her high school career around preparing herself to continue her education in science.
“Anna has always talked about going to school for science and being pre-med,” said Bengston. “She has taken challenging courses in high school to prepare herself for college, and still remains at the top of her class at this point.”
Not only does this program come with the sizable scholarship, but it also offers free tutoring, opportunities for undergraduate research, and the opportunity to participate in National Institute of Health and NASA research fellowships.
Burbach’s work throughout high school helped her stick out from the crowd. Boasting a strong resume of activities, Burbach’s high school recognitions include:
• National Honor Society
• Varsity Cross Country, Track, Band and One Act Letter Winner
• FFA Leadership and Scholarship
• Numerous Volunteer Commitments
• Job Shadowing with Nurses/Nurse Practitioners at Santee Sioux Reservation Clinic
• Interest in becoming a medical missionary in a developing country
This unique program offered by College of Saint Mary is supported by the National Science Foundation, and provides amazing opportunity beyond the generous financial support that is also offered.
Along with that free tutoring for upper level science and math courses, Burbach will receive a “Big Sister” who is a returning Marie Curie Scholar. Big Sisters help with the transition to college both in the classroom and in the campus community.
The College of Saint Mary is in Omaha and is a Catholic women’s university that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. Saint Mary offers five Marie Curie Scholarships per year, and Burbach received one of two that were given to students from Nebraska.