Ds Scholarship

Friday is deadline for Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholarship applicants

Charleston, W.F.; West Virginia High School seniors interested in becoming Mountain State teachers have until Friday to apply for a scholarship that can help kick-start their careers.

Sophia Miller

The Underwood Smith Education Scholarship, the only in-state scholarship open to both in-state and out-of-state applicants, is designed to help West Virginia address its persistent teacher shortage.

One such student is Sophia Miller, a sophomore at West Virginia University and a graduate of Parkersburg Southern High School.

“Receiving this scholarship totally helped me make ends meet in college. It’s amazing,” Miller said on MetroNews’s Talkline this week.

The scholarship aims to help students apply for teaching positions in mathematics, science, special education, and elementary education. The annual award is $10,000—or $40,000 total—to 25 new scholars each year from the National Applicant Pool.

The program is open to both in-state and overseas applicants.

Miller is studying to become an elementary school teacher. She said her teachers and former university professors have inspired her along the way.

“During my education and at all levels, I have met so many wonderful teachers who have such a passion for their students and this changes the atmosphere of the classroom and makes teaching fun,” she said. “I want to pass that on to the next generation.”

Recipients are committed to teaching in West Virginia for at least five years after graduation. Miller said that doesn’t scare her because she plans to stay in the state.

“In my head, whenever I saw it, I thought I was going to work after graduation anyway, so why not stay and work in the state I like,” she said.

The Underwood Smith Award is stackable with other forms of financial aid, according to the state Higher Education Policy Committee.

To apply, click here.

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