Wheeler High School graduate Zach Yahn is headed to the University of Virginia this fall on a full merit scholarship that covers all costs associated with attending for all 4 years. The scholarship is worth about $300,000 and is very hard to get. It’s called the Jefferson Scholarship and it’s not known if any Cobb student has ever received it in the past.

First you have to be nominated by your school, then apply, then undergo two intense rounds of interviews. The first interview began with 60 students. 10 of those students were selected for the second round. Of these 10, two Georgia students were named the only finalists for the entire state.

Zach was flown to UVA for 4 days where he had to compete with 120 finalists from around the world for 38 spots. He had to write an essay, do a math test, debate other students in a seminar, and have a final interview. It was really intense and is very prestigious. He passed up offers from Yale, GT, UGA, and a full-tuition scholarship at Vanderbilt to attend UVA.

In addition, Zach was also a National Merit Finalist and received an $8,000 scholarship from Georgia Pacific.

At graduation, Zach was awarded the Atlanta Journal Constitution Award (the AJC Cup) as the outstanding student from Wheeler High School.

Zach was the only Wheeler student named a Georgia Scholar Athlete and featured in the Marietta Daily Journal.

Zach was also awarded the Greg Farmer Award as the Outstanding Wheeler Magnet Senior.

At Wheeler, he was awarded the Outstanding Freshman for the entire school as well as Outstanding Sophomore of the entire school. Zach also won the overall Outstanding Science student as a senior. Zach won numerous awards at Wheeler over the years for academic achievement and character.

Zach was Captain of the Division 1 Boys Water Polo team for Junior and Senior Years and was named to the Division 1 All State Team. The team won the State Championship his Junior Year. Zach lettered all four years in water polo.

Zach was Captain of the Wheeler Swim Team his senior year and qualified for the state meet. Zach lettered all four years in swimming.

Zach attended the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program for engineering at Berry College and had an internship at a local startup in engineering and wrote a significant research paper.

Zach was Co-President of the Magnet Program at Wheeler as a senior and was also President of the Science Olympiad team and led them to State competition.

Zach was also President of the Nanotechnology Club and co-founder of the Physics Club.

Zach has also been a summer swim team coach and works as a math tutor.

Zach plans to major in engineering and minor in entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia.

(Reprinted from School Board Member, David Banks’, e-newsletter)