By Matt Nixon
Walking across the stage to receive her high school diploma was a big deal and Sydney Price knew it.
The Temple High School Salutatorian and Class of 2022 Georgia State University Presidential Scholar was going to graduate. There was never any question of that.
But two months earlier, Sydney had undergone surgery to insert pins in her foot, fixing two broken bones. So walking—unassisted—across the stage was something she didn’t take for granted.
Sydney also knew that getting an exceptional education and receiving good health care were privileges she shouldn’t take for granted.
While Sydney filled her time with the activities typical of a high-achieving high school student—a full academic load, school clubs, color guard, community theater, and hanging with friends—she also was dedicated to the service of the less fortunate.
This spirit of service was instilled at home. Her mother, an educator and assistant principal at Villa Rica Elementary School, and her father, a youth minister and associate pastor at Belmont Baptist Church in Calhoun, Ga., were examples to Sydney and her younger brother. Her parents regularly provided foster care in their home and were fixtures at the soup kitchen and food pantry offered by their church. In elementary school, Sydney began volunteering, too.
“My grandparents regularly worked at the food pantry and they started bringing me after school when I was in fifth grade,” she said. “I saw so many people who just aren’t getting the help they need from society. At the food pantry and soup kitchen, I saw that I could help in a small way. So, I kept volunteering there as much as I could.”
The drive to help those on the margins of society led Sydney to Georgia State, where she plans to major in political science.
“When I set foot on the Georgia State campus, I just felt that this was where I was supposed to be, with these people in this place.”
While her heart was already set on becoming a Panther, receiving the Presidential Scholarship finalized Sydney’s decision and relieved college-related financial stress. The Honors College’s dedicated staff and resources to assist its students with applying for prestigious national fellowships and scholarships provided additional appeal.
“I’m looking forward to all the classes and activities around campus that will prepare me for a career in helping good people get into positions where they—we—can make positive changes,” she said.
For more information about the Presidential Scholarship or to apply, go to https://honors.gsu.edu/the-presidential-scholarship/