Senior gets $120K scholarship

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Selma High School senior Donald Pritchett was given the perfect nickname by his Junior Air Force ROTC instructor. “Award-winning Donald” is a good way to describe this soon-to-be-graduate

As Vice Commander of the Selma High ROTC squadron, Pritchett’s duties were to provide guidance and support for his team. He also proved to be a great role model for his peers as well.

During Senior Awards Day at Selma High last week, it was announced that Pritchett received a $120,000 ROTC scholarship to attend Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.

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This scholarship is a dream come true for Pritchett, providing him with full-paid tuition for the next four years of college.

“I’m more excited than I can show,” Pritchett said. “I almost fell off the stage when they told me.”

The Selma High student has known since February he was accepted to Texas A&M, and they were offering him a scholarship, but he was not told the amount until Senior Awards Day.

Anthony Jones, one of the Selma High ROTC instructors, said this was the first time any of his cadets has been offered a scholarship from the Texas college.

“This is really not surprising. Donald is not only a good student, he is a good citizen,” Jones said. “I would have hand-pick him myself to go out and represent our community.”

Not only is Pritchett ranked in the top 20 of this class, he also commanded the award-winning ROTC drill team and the award-winning color guard team.

“He is such a good all-around guy,” Jones said. “His character helped our squad win those awards. I knew he was going places.”

Along with his academic success, Pritchett also proved his worth on the playing field as well. He is a talented basketball and baseball player, and plans to try-out for the Texas A&M baseball team.

“I decided on Texas A&M because it’s in a nice area,” Pritchett said. “Plus, I wanted to go to school outside of Alabama.”

Pritchett said he plans to study molecular biology at college in hopes of one day becoming a scientist or researcher.

“I enjoyed taking physiology and anatomy at school,” Pritchett said.

The scholarship also affords him the opportunity to join the Air Force after graduation, which he says he plans to do.

Pritchett’s mother, Bettie, said she was extremely excited and proud of her son’s success.

“He has always done well in school,” Bettie said. “From first-grade until 12th-grade, he has always made the A or AB honor roll.”

This type of achievement is nothing new to the Pritchett family. Bettie single-handedly raised her three children on her salary as a crossing guard with the Selma Police Department, and all of them found success in different ways.

Her oldest daughter, Drell Hunter, became the 2003 Miss Vermont and is currently attending law school in that state. Her youngest son, Jonathon, is also in the ROTC program at Selma High and doing very well.

“I always knew he was going to get a scholarship,” said Hunter. “He was always good at biology and physiology. I just never expected him to get this much of a scholarship.”

Pritchett is proof that hard work, practice, and study will always lead to success.