SULTAN — Lily Morgan, 18, graduated June 9 from Sultan High School. She lives in Gold Bar and is headed to Seattle Pacific University. She received enough scholarship money to cover college, including a full ride and additional awards, among them one of the inaugural Freestone Future Leaders scholarships.
Question: You started applying for scholarships when you were a junior and you got $156,000. Tell me about the work that went into that.
Answer: My mom helped me a lot. My first couple of scholarships, we kind of came up with a foundation of what are they looking for this year with essays. We made probably seven essays answering different questions. What are your dreams, aspirations, financial need? For every new scholarship, we’d take what I’d written and adapt it to the new questions.
Q: What made you choose Seattle Pacific University?
A: I visited a lot of schools. I have a 1-year-old niece, so I knew I wanted to stay close to home and be present in her life and stay close to my family. I looked at UW and Seattle University, but they did not offer me as much financial aid as SPU, and that was definitely the big deal breaker.
Q: What will you study?
A: I’m thinking business.
Q: What’s your dream job?
A: I’ve gone back and forth a lot. Right now I’m thinking I want to do event planning and possibly start my own nonprofit.
Q: What would you want to focus on?
A: Definitely homeless programs. I’m really passionate about helping the homeless and helping those in need.
Q: Did you volunteer in high school?
A: I volunteered a lot. We started a new program my junior year called the Cinderella Project. We collected 60 or 70 dresses that we rented out to girls for homecoming and prom for free, and we also offered scholarships for girls who couldn’t afford tickets … That was through my position as executive ASB vice president. We did two main volunteer projects through ASB this year. One was the Cinderella Project, and the other was the Coats Against the Cold coat drive. We collected just over 500 coats that we donated to Volunteers of America for people in need.
Q: What other activities were you involved in?
A: I was involved in almost every single club at my high school. … I was part of National Honor Society, vice president of the Future Business Leaders of America, co-founder and president of the art club. I was part of Link Crew. I was editor of the yearbook. That was a big thing … I also played basketball and volleyball. I was valedictorian. And I was also captain of the basketball team.
Q: How did you balance all that?
A: It was really tough, for sure. I have this planner that has just basically everything. I schedule out every single minute of my day. It gets pretty crazy. (I add sticky notes) when I don’t have enough space. It’s just balancing and planning. I also started a part-time job my sophomore year (at Ben Franklin). I’m just the kind of person who likes being in charge. If I’m going to be involved in something, I’m going to be running it. I’m a perfectionist and I just want everything done right.
Q: What is one of your favorite memories from high school?
A: I would probably say the yearbook. We go to yearbook camp every year … At camp, we develop our theme for the year. Our theme for this year was “Limitless.” It was galaxy- and space-themed. It was super awesome just developing that theme and working to create something and working as a team. … We actually sold out this year. It was the best-selling yearbook we’ve ever had.
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.