The Anne Arundel County Council of PTAs has selected Severna Park High School’s Sophia Dutton for its Phoebe Apperson Hearst Scholarship, which is presented to students who exhibit the council’s core values of being a successful and productive learner and citizen, with skills in leadership, participation, involvement and scholarship.
“When I heard about the scholarship, I knew that it would be a great opportunity to help offset the cost of college for my family,” said Dutton. “But most importantly, I felt as though this scholarship’s values aligned with what I valued throughout high school as well.”
The namesake of this scholarship, Phoebe Apperson Hearst, was a remarkable women’s suffragist, philanthropist, and one of the nation’s most generous advocates of learning in the 1800s, Dutton explained. “I am honored to have been selected for this scholarship as I advance into a traditionally male-dominated STEM field,” she added.
Dutton was a four-year, two-sport athlete at SPHS in swimming and cross country. She played cello (first chair), and was a member of the SPHS Leadership Institute, and participated in several honor societies. She volunteered at Anne Arundel Medical Center, and for her Leadership Senior Capstone project, she worked with Sarah’s House to help children celebrate their birthdays. She also tutors students in Japanese and plays cello to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research.
Additionally, she completed an internship in the radiation oncology department at Johns Hopkins Hospital. For the last 11 years, she’s played the piano.
“I’m so thankful for the support I’ve received from AACCPTA for my college education,” Dutton said. “As with most families, college is a big financial commitment. Having this sort of support and recognition for my education means a lot.”
Dutton will attend Washington University in St. Louis to study neuroscience on a pre-med track with a Japanese minor.
“SPHS is truly a place that encourages academic excellence. I’ve had some amazing teachers and friends who have supported me through music, sports and academics,” Dutton added. “I feel prepared for new challenges of college thanks to how I’ve grown as a person at SPHS.
“I believe that cost should never be a barrier to a college education,” Dutton continued. “Going into senior year, I was pleasantly surprised to see how many scholarships I could apply for, especially local ones from this area. Backed by a such a supporting community, it’s 100 percent possible to earn much-needed awards to help fund your college goals. You just have to reach out and look.”