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Northside Senior Receives $60,000 OG&E Scholarship
Northside High School senior Zaq Qureshi was surprised on Friday, May 6 with a $60,000 college scholarship from OG&E Energy Corp. Foundation, Inc.
Pictured: Northside Senior Zaq Qureshi, 2022 OG&E Positive Energy Scholar
As a 2022 OG&E Positive Energy Scholar, Zaq will receive a total of $60,000 in scholarship funds over four years to cover tuition, books, fees and on-campus room and board.
“Congratulations to Zaqariah, one of our 2022 OGE Positive Energy Scholars,” said Sean Trauschke, OGE Energy Corp. Chairman, President and CEO. “Zaqariah’s application for the scholarship was impressive. In addition to his academic achievements, Zaqariah gave us insight into his character through his volunteerism positive outlook on life. It is an honor for OG&E to play a role in helping students, particularly a first-generation student like Zaqariah, achieve their educational dreams in the communities we serve. These scholarships help strengthen our future workforce and empower the next generation of leaders.”
School administrators, teachers, mentors, Superintendent Dr. Terry Morawski, Fort Smith Mayor George McGill, Fort Smith Police Chief Danny Baker and members of the community joined the celebration as OG&E officials presented Zaq with a congratulatory certificate.
“Thank you, OG&E, for supporting deserving students like Zaqariah through the OGE Positive Energy Scholarship,” said Dr. Keri Rathbun, Northside High School principal. “We are thrilled to see OG&E invest in students whose strong STEM skills will help lead the state forward.”
Zaqariah will attend the University of Arkansas this fall. He hopes to major in chemistry and chemical technology or psychology. He will be a first-generation college student.
“Zaqariah is an exemplary student whose perpetual desire to be challenged inspires students and teachers alike. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this scholarship,” said Courtney Harcastle, mathematics instructor at Northside High School. “He is also one of the most friendly and engaging teens I’ve had the pleasure of teaching, and is as inclusive as he is compassionate toward his fellow students. I am so proud that he is rewarded for his hard work and admirable ethic.”
In addition to his dedication to his studies and being one of the top ranking students in his class academically, Zaqariah volunteered with the Food Not Bombs organization, a program focused on getting individuals experiencing homelessness back on their feet and advocating for peace and empowerment. In his free time, Zaqariah enjoys playing chess, bike riding and reading nonfiction.
“The costs of college can present many challenges for a young student. A scholarship this financially large will allow Zaqariah to focus on the classroom aspect of his college experience as he moves forward in his academic career,” said Eddie Lee Herndon, OG&E Community Affairs Manager in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. “It is a privilege to provide such a deserving student with this impactful scholarship.”
Through the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, the OG&E Positive Energy Scholarship was established in 2019, focusing on students with high academic achievement who plan to pursue careers in an energy-related field and in need of financial aid. Eligible students must meet specific criteria to be considered, including:
- Be a graduating high school senior from the OG&E service area,
- Attend a college in the states of Oklahoma or Arkansas,
- Have an unweighted GPA greater than or equal to 3.25, and
- Achieve an ACT score of greater than or equal to 25 and/or SAT score greater than or equal to 1200
Since 2016, OG&E Energy Corp. has provided more than $1.9 million in scholarships for students in the OG&E service area.