The $10,000 award is renewable for up to four years

A Mazama High School senior has been awarded $10,000 toward her future in the form of Oregon State University’s most prestigious scholarship.

Makayla Quirk was awarded OSU’s Presidential Scholarship in a surprise presentation March 14 during one of her classes. OSU’s Craig Brauner presented the Viking senior with the award and a swag-filled Beaver Box. Out of nearly 3,000 applicants, only 127 students were chosen for the scholarship. The $10,000 annual scholarship is renewable for up to four years.

A 4.0 student, Quirk is one of valedictorians for the class of 2023. She takes honors classes, plays varsity soccer and runs track. She has been in FBLA for four years and is the current FBLA president. She also is vice president of the school’s National Honor Society and a member of the student government. For her senior project, she designed Tshirts, sold them to students, and donated more than $500 to CARES, a child abuse program at Sky Lakes Medical Center.

“Makayla represents the qualities we hope to see blossom in our students. She has a vision for her future and is relentless in pursuing her dreams,” said Sergio Cisneros, vice principal of Mazama High School. “It’s awesome to see our students recognized for their abilities by winning prestigious scholarships.”

Quirk has been accepted to OSU’s College of Business. She plans to accept the scholarship and study business administration. 

“I chose Oregon State because their business program is appealing to me, it’s still close enough to home, but also I get to experience a city,” she said. “I really like OSU’s culture.”

Winning the scholarship relieves a lot of the financial stress of attending college, she said. Just before the announcement was made, she was working on another scholarship application. On hand for the surprise announcement were her parents, her younger sister, and Mazama and district administrators.

Her family knew ahead of time, but Quirk was completely surprised. “I had no idea,” she said. “It’s funny because my mom was hinting that I should wear my OSU hoodie to school today.”

After earning her bachelor’s degree from OSU, Quirk plans to attend law school and eventually open her own law firm.

To be eligible for OSU’s Presidential Scholarship, students must be current Oregon high school seniors with a minimum 3.85 unweighted GPA and/or a minimum 4.2 weighted GPA. 

Applicants are evaluated based on a review of their accomplishments, contributions, experiences, talents, and    participation in activities that demonstrate their academic potential, leadership abilities, and commitment to service.

Mazama senior Makayla Quirk displays a Beaver T-shirt after winning OSU’s Presidential Scholarship.

Makayla Quirk poses with her family, Mazama Principal Jennifer Hawkins, and OSU’s Craig Brauner after receiving OSU’s Presidential Scholarship.