Saipan International School senior Malika Miyawaki was recently awarded a QuestBridge Scholarship, a full four-year scholarship that is handed to only a little over 1,000 high school seniors across the United States.
Miyawaki is set to pursue her higher education at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia beginning in the fall of 2020 through her QuestBridge scholarship.
According to Miyawaki, although she has yet to make up her mind, she is leaning toward pursuing a degree in Business.
On top of pursuing a college education, Miyawaki is even happier to fulfill her childhood dream of a full college experience without burdening her family.
“I am not 100% sure about my major yet but I am looking at Business. All my hard work was for this victory. I really wanted the full ride and didn’t want to be a burden for my family. I did it because a full ride has been my dream since I was young. I didn’t care where I would go as long as I got a full ride,” she said.
The QuestBridge National College Match is a national program that connects high-achieving high school seniors with full four-year scholarships with some of the nation’s top colleges. Out of 14,926 applicants, QuestBridge selected 5,842 finalists. Of the finalists, 1,127 students were selected as this year’s Match Scholarship Recipients, one of them being Miyawaki. The scholarship grant covers the recipient’s tuition, room and board, health insurance, and other costs.
Miyawaki said she was very emotional throughout the application process that began in September. She added that she felt she had not done enough during high school and was worried she wouldn’t get in. However, she could not explain the joy and relief when she found out she had been chosen.
“I never felt that happy in my life. My mom was so happy. She hugged me tight when I got it. She barely talked about college before…because she didn’t want to make me even more nervous,” she said.
Miyawaki had first to apply to QuestBridge by the due date, Sept. 26, 2019, and was chosen as a finalist on Oct. 16, 2019.
“The process was very tiring. To become a finalist, I wrote a lot. After I became a finalist, I had to write many supplements. I am sure I spent at least 100 hours on this process,” she said.
Any U.S. citizen/permanent resident, or non-U.S. citizen who live in the U.S. can apply. Being a finalist meant you could apply at any of QuestBridge’s 40 partner schools for free.
SIS headmaster Ron Snyder said they are proud of Miyawaki and are very happy that she has been named as their first QuestBridge scholar and the third in the CNMI.