Eighth-grader receives $5,000 college scholarship

Gracen Spiteri accepting a $5,000 college scholarship check on June 5, 2019 (Source: WILX)
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JACKSON, MI (WILX) - Gracen Spiteri, an eighth-grade student from Paragon Charter Academy, got quite the honor at a surprise assembly on Wednesday.

Spiteri was awarded a $5,000 college scholarship.

He is one of only four recipients of the annual CollegeBound™ Scholarship, which is sponsored by the National Heritage Academies (NHA).

Students from 87 schools across the country applied for the scholarship.

Spiteri has been a member of the National Junior Honor Society since 2016 and is also in Paragon's Robotics program where he helps younger students build their robots.

He is also a member of his school's Math Counts club.

"Gracen is an outstanding young man who embodies our moral focus virtues, said Benjamin Kriesch, principal at Paragon Charter Academy. "He is always willing to volunteer and consistently asks how he can improve, help, or grow. He lives out our student creed understanding that his success in school and life depends on his own effort. He gives 100% effort in each area of his life. I couldn't be more proud of a student."

To be considered for the scholarship, an applicant is required to write an essay on one of four topics related to the school's Moral Focus curriculum.

This curriculum teaches students to be well-rounded individuals by teaching monthly virtues, such as gratitude and encouragement.

All NHA eighth-grade students were eligible to enter for their chance at the scholarship.

The winners were chosen by an independent professional selection group, based on the students' essay submission, academics, and community service.

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