Munachiso Nkeonye-Mbaekwe, a senior at Eastern Technical High School, thought she was invited to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on March 31 to talk about college admissions during the pandemic. So she and the 24 other featured students were surprised to learn the real reason for their participation in the live segment: that they were among the 27 students selected to receive $40,000 College Board Opportunity Scholarships.
Nkeonye-Mbaekwe and the other students were selected from a pool of students who completed The College Board’s six college planning steps: building a college list, practicing for the SAT, exploring scholarships, strengthening their college list, completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), and applying to colleges. As part of the program, drawings for $500 scholarships are held for the completion of each of the six steps.
Nkeonye-Mbaekwe is enrolled in Eastern Tech’s Academy of Health Professions/Allied Health Magnet Program.
“Our Academy of Health Professions/Allied Health curriculum is one of the most challenging magnet programs that we offer,” said school counselor Donna Murphy. “Through her participation in this program, Munachiso has gained a wealth of knowledge about the medical field, exploring the body and distinguishing between diseases and disorders that affect various body systems. She is OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] 10-hour HealthCare-certified as well as American Heart Association HealthCare Provider BLS/CPR [Basic Life Support/ Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation] and First Aid-certified.”
Active in her school, community, and church, and a caregiver in her family, Nkeonye-Mbaekwe is a member of the African Student Association, Latin Honor Society, National Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, Step Squad, and a mentor for Grade 9 students.
“Munachiso actively pursues opportunities to engage in service and learning in the community,” Murphy added. During summer 2019, Nkeonye-Mbaekwe earned an internship with the REAP (Research & Engineering Apprenticeship) Program at Morgan State University.
The College Board Opportunity Scholarships program is open to students in the United States, Puerto Rico, and U.S. territories, regardless of citizenship status. U.S. citizens and residents attending Department of Defense Education Activity schools abroad may also participate.
This program is open to students regardless of their family income. At least half of all scholarships (more than $2 million) will be designated for students whose families earn less than $60,000 a year. Whenever students who meet these requirements complete a step, they earn an extra entry in monthly drawings for scholarships.