Three of the highest-achieving Arizona high school seniors are joining Northern Arizona University’s Class of 2025.
Parris Adams, Sakina Lord and Maya Steinberg are among the 20 students who make up the 2021 Flinn Scholars—a merit-based award supported by the Flinn Foundation and the three state universities. Flinn Scholars receive a full scholarship that covers eight semesters of tuition, fees, housing and meals and includes funds for study abroad and other professional development opportunities.
“This award represents the best of the best of the graduating high school classes and are a testament to the
quality of programs we have at NAU and the quality of students who want to be Lumberjacks,” said NAU President Rita Cheng. “I am proud to welcome Parris, Sakina and Maya to the Lumberjack family. I know many great opportunities await them and the rest of the Class of 2025 during their NAU careers.”
Only 2.1 percent of the 951 applicants were selected as Flinn Scholars. Those chosen stood out based on their academic rigor and performance, leadership, service and communication skills. The cohort represents students from throughout Arizona, from a variety of backgrounds and with diverse college majors.
“There are so many great stories within this new class of Flinn Scholars,” said Anne Lassen, Flinn Scholars Program director. “As is always the case, these are astonishingly intelligent and high-achieving students. But academic success is only the beginning. They’re characterized by perseverance, engagement with their schools, peers, and families, and a dedication to improving the world around them.”
All three students will be members of NAU’s Honor College, which offers additional development experiences for its students. Kevin Gustafson, dean of the Honors College, said the students and parents he spoke with were drawn to NAU because of specific academic programs and faculty and the varied range of opportunities, including undergraduate research, study abroad and pre-law programs.
“The diversity of academic interests of these new Flinn Scholars indicates that students are seeing excellence across the board at NAU, and they want to be a part of it,” he said. “NAU’s success in recruiting three 2021 Flinn Scholars is a testament to the university’s commitment to excellence in undergraduate education.”
Adams was the valedictorian and student body president at Page High School and also was president of the Culinary Club and Gay-Straight Alliance, vice president of the National Honor Society and played varsity tennis. She will study hotel and restaurant management.
Lord, who graduated from Bioscience High School in Phoenix, was co-captain of her wrestling team and placed at the Girls’ State Wrestling Tournaments. She was student government treasurer, a peer mentor and tutor and interned at Restore Arts, G.I.V.E., S.Y.STEM Coalition and Ritoch-Powell & Associates. She was in the National Honor Society and Environment-Technology Club and is a National Merit Hispanic Recognition Scholar. She wants to study data science at NAU.
Steinberg, who graduated from Tempe High School, founded an online book club for K-12 students and was a candidate
for the International Baccalaureate diploma. She interned at the Tempe History Museum and was a coach for the Salvation Army Kroc Center, a delegate for Tempe Sister Cities, captain of her varsity volleyball team and senior class secretary and treasurer. She also volunteered on political campaigns, was a Barrett Summer Scholar and recipient of the Dolores Huerta Scholarship and an AIA First Team Honorable Mention. She wants to study women’s and gender studies.
To learn more about the Flinn Scholars Program, which is available to Arizona students, visit the Flinn Foundation website. To learn more about state and national scholarship opportunities available to current and incoming NAU students, including graduate students, visit the National & International Scholarships and Fellowships office website.