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Hurricane student receives WVU Foundation Scholarship

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Putnam County student has been awarded West Virginia University's most prestigious scholarship.

Julie Peng, a senior at Hurricane High School, was awarded WVU's Foundation Scholarship Tuesday. She's one of five high school seniors in West Virginia to be given the prize, which is worth about $80,000 when paired with the state Promise Scholarship.

It pays for full tuition and fees, room, board and books for four years. There's also an "academic enhancement" stipend worth $4,500, which students can use to pursue internships or study abroad opportunities.

That's something Peng is interested in. She's already participated in several mission trips out of the country, primarily to the Dominican Republic, and she hopes to continue in that vein through college and beyond.

She says science and math "are definite favorites" and plans to study chemical engineering at WVU. She's interested in the medical field and may go on to medical school after she gets her undergraduate degree. She's interested in working in the space where medicine meets engineering, especially with things like 3-D printers and prosthetics.

"I'm doing chemical engineering because I know I'll have so many different options," she said. "I'm really happy to be a Foundation Scholar because I think it will give me opportunities to do research."

When she graduates from Hurricane High this spring, she'll have nearly 2,000 community service hours under her belt. She also has taken a slew of rigorous Advanced Placement classes and is president of the National Honor Society and secretary of the Student Council.

Hurricane High Principal Dick Campbell called Peng "one of those all-American kids you sometimes get in high school."

"She's just one of those students that you don't have to ask," he said. "She's always there, volunteers, and just gets along with everybody. . . .  She's a good example of the type of students we have here at Hurricane."

Peng is the second student from Hurricane High to earn a Foundation Scholarship.

Last year, Capital High School's Joy Wang received the competitive award.

Contact writer Shay Maunz at or 304-348-4886.

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