Two Medford teens awarded prestigious STAMPS scholarship

MEDFORD, Ore. – Nicola Chmelir and Vanessa Lim, two seniors at St. Mary’s School in Medford, were both chosen to be the recipient of University of Oregon’s highly coveted STAMPS scholarship.

Every year, only 10 students in the state of Oregon are chosen to receive the scholarship. Given that the scholarship is highly selective, the fact that two of the chosen teens attend the same school makes this situation highly improbable. St. Mary’s Associate College Counselor Eve Benton calls it “miraculous.” Benton describes both Chmelir and Lim as being extremely determined, intelligent individuals who are dedicated to their academic careers.

The University of Oregon website says the STAMPS scholarship searches for the next generation of leaders. The $125,000 merit-based award covers tuition, room and board, books, and fees. It is the University of Oregon’s largest scholarship offered.
As well as a full ride, STAMPS also includes an additional $12,000 “dream fund,” which can be used for research, study abroad opportunities, or volunteering. Both Chmelir and Lim have big plans for their education next fall.
Chmelir plans to pursue the pre-med track and major in biology, as well as minor in either English literature, mathematics, or psychology. Chmelir says she comes from a family who places importance on higher education, and this value contributed to her mindset for success. She says her biggest aspiration is to become a traveling doctor.
Chmelir also has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, dedicating her service project last summer to helping kids in the Rogue Valley foster care system. She says she was able to raise $7000 to provide 155 duffle bags for kids transitioning between homes.
Lim also has an impressive list of merits and experience. As a child of Indonesian immigrants, Lim says she’s been working in the food industry since she was 14. At one point, she said she held three jobs while going to school. Lim plans to double-major in business administration and an AI technology related field. She says she’s interested in addressing inequalities in developing countries.
Both students have an extensive academic career with multiple AP classes and plenty of extracurriculars.
Decision day for the scholarship is May 1, where Chmelir and Lim will lock in their decisions.

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