Arizona excellence: The 2019 Flinn Scholars have been named

April 16, 2019

By Matt Ellsworth

Twenty of Arizona’s highest-achieving high-school seniors have been named Flinn Scholars and will receive scholarships to Arizona’s three public research universities valued at more than $120,000.

The merit-based award—which recipients accept in many instances over admission to the nation’s most prestigious universities—is a full ride that covers the cost of tuition, fees, housing and meals and provides funding for at least two study-abroad experiences plus additional benefits.

Record-Setting Applications

The Flinn Scholars Program, supported by the Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation in partnership with the universities, selected the Class of 2019 Flinn Scholars from a record-high 894 applications, or an award rate of 2.2 percent.

The 34th class of Flinn Scholars features 20 students from the Phoenix metropolitan area, Tucson, Prescott, and Pinal County, representing 19 high schools.

“Each Flinn Scholar we meet is unique, but these students have something in common besides the capacity to excel in the classroom,” said Tammy McLeod, Flinn Foundation president and CEO. “They have deep dedication to their schools, communities, the future of Arizona, and the world. The Flinn Foundation is excited not only to announce this new class of Flinn Scholars but to see what lies ahead for them and our state.”

First Flinn Scholars

The only school with two Flinn Scholars this year is Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center-Estrella Mountain, a charter school west of Phoenix. Those two students are the first Flinn Scholars from their school.

Four other high schools are also celebrating their first Flinn Scholar in 2019: Maricopa High School, Basha High School in Chandler, Gilbert Classical Academy High School, and BASIS Prescott.  

The 2019 Flinn Scholars named a variety of areas of study in their applications, including Mandarin, biochemistry, psychology, economics, mechanical and environmental engineering, mathematics, nursing, agribusiness, philosophy, biomedical science, and computer science.

The Scholars will start undergraduate studies at Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona in August.

There are now nearly 650 current and alumni Flinn Scholars, with about 80 Scholars studying at the three universities at any time.

“The academic accomplishments, extracurricular involvement, and dedication to service this group has demonstrated are remarkable and we have high hopes for their future contributions,” said Anne Lassen, Flinn Scholars Program director. “We also want to commend all of the high-achieving students who applied and made this year’s selection so challenging.”

Flinn Scholarship Benefits

The Flinn Scholarship benefits, beyond covering eight semesters of tuition, fees, and housing and meals, include:

  • A three-week summer seminar in China for the full class following the freshman year, and at least one additional study-abroad experience;

  • Mentorship from top faculty and exposure to Arizona and global leaders, including leaders from Arizona’s business, civic, and academic communities;

  • Intellectual, cultural and social activities developed for Scholars by both the Flinn Foundation and the universities;

Qualifying for the Flinn Scholarship

The typical Flinn Scholar achieves at least a 3.5 grade-point average, a top-5 percent class rank, and a score of 1340 on the SAT or 29 on the ACT, and demonstrates exceptional leadership in extracurricular activities.

The Flinn Scholars Program, established in 1986, is operated by the Flinn Foundation Scholarship Program LLC and supported by the Flinn Foundation, a Phoenix-based private, nonprofit, grantmaking organization. The Foundation, founded in 1965 by the late Dr. Robert and Irene Flinn, also supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership and its flagship Flinn-Brown Academy.

Amanda Abdelsamad

Corona Del Sol High School

Residence: Tempe

Zoe Benson

Catalina Foothills High School

Residence: Tucson

Chandler Chang

High School

Residence: Maricopa

Cameron Decker

Arizona Agribusiness &
Equine Center – Estrella Mountain

Residence: Goodyear

Jordan Harb

Mountain View High School

Residence: Mesa

Caroline Hyland

Xavier College Preparatory

Residence: Phoenix

Anna Lee Iverson

Chandler High School

Residence: Chandler

Emma Mason

Mountain Pointe High School

Residence: Phoenix

Finlay Parsons

Sonoran Science Academy – Tucson

Residence: Tucson

Katie Pascavis

Basha High School

Residence: Gilbert

Jason Bautista Pejay

Tempe High School

Residence: Phoenix

Kyle Polen

Chaparral High School

Residence: Phoenix

Andrea Ramirez

Glendale High School

Residence: Glendale

Nathaniel Ross

Mesa High School

Residence: Mesa

Kailee Savage

Canyon Del Oro High School

Residence: Tucson

Amanda Schuerman

Gilbert Classical Academy

Residence: Gilbert

Griffin Sherwood

BASIS Prescott

Residence: Prescott

Joe Thomas

Ironwood High School

Residence: Glendale

Liam Wilson

High School

Residence: Mesa

Sarah Wilson

Arizona Agribusiness &
Equine Center – Estrella Mountain

Residence: Goodyear