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@ School: Iziah Ashe

Iziah Ashe at the Complex library.Iziah Ashe is proof there are scholarships for students who put their mind to having their college tuition paid. Ashe, ranked as one of the top ten students in the St. Croix Educational Complex class of 2010, has been awarded $64,000 in scholarships and grants.

He was awarded scholarships from Hovensa, Rotary Mid Isle, Twin City Lions Club, Ronald McDonald House and Walmart Strive for Excellence. The University of Houston offered him a financial aid package he couldn’t turn down so he will begin his studies in chemical engineering there this fall.

“I spent a day online looking for scholarships,” Ashe says. “It is amazing how many different scholarships are out there.”

His first monetary award was a savings bond for being selected as the valedictorian of his sixth grade class at Alfredo Andrews Elementary School. He says throughout elementary and junior high school he was always on the honor roll.

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He credits his second grade teacher, Valencia Andrews, for always challenging and pushing him.

“Ms Andrews knew I could do it and pushed me forward,” Ashe said. “Academics always came easy to me too.”

Ashe says he knew how important getting good grades throughout high school was to be eligible for scholarships. He tested and was accepted into the Magnet Program at Complex, an honors and accelerated program in math, English and science, for 9th, 10th and 11th graders. He was a member of National Honor Society and National English Honor Society.

Cenita Heywood, media specialist at Complex and advisor of the American Red Cross Youth Volunteers, said she was impressed with him because of all he has accomplished.

“He is involved in the community and volunteers with the American Red Cross Youth at parades,the Agricultural Fair and Career Fairs,” Heywood says. “When I heard how much he got in scholarships I was really impressed.”

Ashe is involved with the Rotary Interact Club doing beach clean ups, outreaches and helping with programs to aid the homeless. He is a teachers assistant in the Math Environment Science Academy MESA project at Complex. Along with school and volunteering he has held down a job at the Sunny Isle Theater the past two years.

He has been involved in sports, singing and acting, and Junior Drag Racing at the Motor Sports Complex.

Ashe is the son of Vicky Knight and Junior Ashe. He said he is the first in his immediate family to attend college.

“I am very proud of his accomplishments,” Junior Ashe said. “I am also pleased he will come back to St. Croix after college and work at Hovensa. Junior Ashe had also worked at Hovensa for many years.

There is a lot of talk about a brain drain on St. Croix but Ashe is not buying into that perception.

“I don’t think living in the states would be for me,” Ashe says. He added he plans to get a master’s degree, come back to St. Croix, work at Hovensa and give back to the community.

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