Alex Piercy at the Shelter Gardens in Missouri where she attended a Hagan Scholarship workshop
Alex Piercy near the sign at the Conference Center for the Hagan Foundation
Alex Piercy and Wayne County High School Principal Justin Alley with her certificate recognizing her acceptance by the Hagan Foundation during the Senior Honors Awards last May
Hagan Scholarship has benefitted two Wayne County High School graduates
Alex Piercy followed in 2018 graduate Tanner Thompson’s footsteps in obtaining the nationwide – need based merit scholarship that helps rural students graduate college debt free. Both of the Wayne County High School graduates are by happenstance attending the University of Kentucky.
Both students believe their local public education was a positive experience and helped prepare them for post-secondary education. Tanner is in his second year at UK and has taken his college experience to another level through a study abroad trip this semester to New Zealand where he will study international finance. The business/finance major is a UK athletic supporter and works part time at Monticello Bank in Lexington. Alex is in her first year at UK, currently majoring in Neuroscience, PreMed.
Alex, the daughter of Connie and Dallas Piercy, began working on the scholarship application in the fall of 2018. Like many other college-bound seniors, she was caught up in a flurry of essay writing and filling out applications, a somewhat stressful time for students who are trying to get ahead.
“My mom saw the scholarship on the school website” scrolling down the counselor’s page scholarship options, explained Alex. So, her journey to obtain the scholarship (viewed as quite a long-shot) began. She said the application was very particular…everything had to be exact. One of the most important things was that you had to follow the directions submitting a four-year plan.
Alex was used to working hard in school. She had accumulated 49 credit hours through dual credit classes when she graduated. She had followed the Biomedical Pathway featuring three high school courses through Project Lead the Way emphasizing STEM curriculum. She had studied Bio Medical Science, Human Body Systems, and Medical Interventions.
She coupled her high school offerings with a Medicaid Nurse Aide Class at the Area Technology Center, which enabled her to become certified as a State Registered Nurses Aide (SRNA). While still in high school and in the summer, she worked at Golden Years Nursing Home as a Nurse Aide. She said she learned a lot about teamwork while employed there. She also took advantage of the Microsoft Office Specialist class at the ATC to become MOS certified which helped her with technical skills in writing papers. In addition to these classes, she was also involved in extra-curricular activities like: FBLA, GT, HOSA, BETA, STEM Club, Academic Team and Student Government Association.
With a 4.37 weighted GPA and 28 ACT score, along with a perfect attendance record during her high school years, Alex, like many of her peers were very deserving of a scholarship. However, the four-year $48,000 Hagan Scholarship was not something she was counting on to make her dream come true to become a pediatrician. Fortunately, for the Wayne County student, her dream may indeed come true because during graduation practice last May, she looked down at her phone and had received an email from Dan Hagan letting her know she was selected as a recipient and would need to report to a workshop in Columbia, Missouri, at the Hilton Garden Inn, Conference Center on July 10.
Alex recalled, “I was screaming with all my friends in the gym” that I had been selected to the program. She would be one of over 800 Hagan Scholars from 42 states that would be attending 325 colleges and universities the fall semester of 2019.
Both Tanner and Alex said that Dan Hagan, Trustee of the Hagan Scholarship Foundation, kept a low profile at the first year workshop. Apparently, Hagan grew up in a rural area and understood how helpful a scholarship could be to a student who was willing to persevere and work hard. In fact, he told them he was not doing this for the attention.
Not knowing anyone, Alex checked in at a registration table, went in the conference room and mingled with students from as far away as California, Michigan, and Texas. Her parents had driven her to the workshop.
“It was pretty cool,” Alex remembered.
The next thing she knew, Dan Hagan was at the podium speaking to the group, along with other founders. “He was kind of a jokester and I liked that,” said Alex.
The students spent the day learning valuable information about how to succeed in college, achieving financial goals, budgeting, and how to get off to a strong start during their first semester. She learned from a student panel of six past Hagan recipients, as well before ending the day with a wealth of valuable tips.
Alex’s future seems headed in the right direction, as is the case for many of Wayne County’s Class of 2019, as she starts her second semester at the University of Kentucky.