The recipient of this honor is an exceptional student, athlete, student and leader, according to a release.
The Jefferson Scholar Award selection process includes:
Select high schools can nominate candidates;
1,400 nominations were received this year;
Candidates participated in a rigorous regional selection process;
From the regional competition, 115 candidates were selected as finalists;
Finalists participated in a four-day selection weekend at the university, involving exams, writing exercises, interviews and assorted academic activities;
From the finalist group, 33 students were selected and offered the Jefferson Scholarship.
The fundamental mission of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation is to "identify, attract, and nurture individuals of extraordinary intellectual range and depth who possess the highest qualities of leadership, scholarship and citizenship," according to the release. The Jefferson Scholarship is an endowed, merit-based scholarship. Scholars receive the full cost of attendance at the University of Virginia including tuition, room and board and a living stipend, all of which currently totals more than $100,000 per Virginian and $200,000 per non-Virginian.
O'Rourke will enroll just as NCHS' last Jefferson Scholar, Caroline Cassavant, (Class of 2010) graduates from UVA.