Journey Washingtonhigh, FWBHS, Selected Okaloosa County's Sunshine State Scholar
Journey Washingtonhigh, a junior at Fort Walton Beach High School, was selected as the 2019 Florida Department of Education Sunshine State Scholar Winner for Okaloosa County.
Emily Ammons, Crestview High School, has been named the Alternate.
The Sunshine State Scholar Program honors the state’s top 11th graders in the STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields. Journey’s selection was based on criteria that included advanced coursework, grades, test scores, an essay, awards, and honors as well as extracurricular activities. She participates in the PLTW Biomedical Science program and participated in a research science project with Researcher Michael Ginzburg studying Micro-plastics in the Antarctica Marine System. She has traveled with a scientific team to Antarctica exploring the contamination of pristine regions of our planet. She earned first place in the East Panhandle Regional Science and Engineering Fair, Regional Winner for ISEP Florida State Science and Engineering Fair, and recipient of the Emerald Coast Science Center Award. She was part of the Rex Biomedical Research Program and recognized as an outstanding leader for the Science Quest Program at the University of Florida. She is a member of the National Science Honor Society and has been selected to receive a scholarship from Northwest Florida College and the Science National Honor Society for her accolades in science. She has competed, traveled, and documented experiences on all seven continents. Her career goal is to enter the Biomedical/Engineering field and continue her passion for science and discovery. Along with her science endeavors, Journey is an accomplished artist, cellist, high jumper, and holds the school record for pole vaulting.
“What an honor it was to present Journey Washingtonhigh with the Sunshine State Scholars Award,” said Superintendent of Schools, Marcus Chambers. “Out of approximately 2,000 Juniors across the county, she was selected. Our school district is filled with amazing students!!”
The 2019 Sunshine State Scholars program will be held June 13-14, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. Each of Florida’s school districts selects their top 11th grade students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM). Each of the scholars, along with their parents, will travel to Orlando for an extraordinary two-day program. This year’s program will bring 100 high school STEM scholars together to conduct a “think tank” on tough Florida challenges.
The two-day program culminates with the Commissioner of Education honoring each scholar for their significant academic accomplishments and celebrated for the potential they represent for our communities and state.
In addition to bringing together the scholars to be honored by the Commissioner of Education, representatives from Florida’s colleges and universities meet with the students and discuss higher education opportunities available to them in Florida.