Will Walker ’23 awarded prestigious Morehead-Cain scholarship
On its website, the renowned Morehead-Cain scholarship describes its ideal applicants: “We’re looking for leaders with an ability to influence, energize, and inspire others to make an impact. We seek courage, humility, integrity, and perseverance. And an authentic love of learning and sharing newfound knowledge and inspiration with others.”
Without context, one might think these phrases were written to describe Breck senior Will Walker ’23. As student body president, accomplished student and athlete, social justice advocate, and leader across campus, Walker embodies everything the prestigious program looks for in their students. It’s no surprise, then, that Walker was part of the just 4 percent of applicants who were chosen to receive this four-year, fully funded educational experience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This program, established in 1945, is touted as the first merit scholarship program in the United States—akin to the esteemed Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University in England.
“It’s a great honor to win [this scholarship],” says Walker. “A lot of hard work and dedication went into it. It’s a long application process, and I’ve learned a lot about myself just going through all the different types of interviews, like panel interviews, group interviews, and one-on-one. It’s a great feeling overall, and I’m thankful for the opportunity and excited to see what happens in the future.”
A student at Breck since preschool, Walker credits his Breck teachers for setting him up to find success in the Morehead-Cain program and beyond.
“Breck faculty have really meant a lot in my journey. When I was younger, I sometimes thought faculty were a lot harder on me than other classmates. Now being a senior and looking back, I think it’s because they saw something more in me than I saw in myself at the time,” he says. “That’s really powerful. I give a lot of credit to them, all the way down through preschool.”
Walker’s admiration for Breck teachers is reinforced by the fact that two other Breck students from the last decade have been admitted into this highly selective program. Walker will join Breck alums Claire Drysdale ’14 and Boatemaa Agyeman-Mensah ’20 as Morehead-Cain scholars.
“I’m ecstatic about this amount of success for such a prestigious program,” says Jonny Nicholson, Breck’s director of college counseling. “I think Breck students are poised to be competitive [in this program] as they are likely to be well-rounded, fully engaged in their community, and immensely humble.”
With his Breck experience in mind, Walker is excited to continue developing as a student and changemaker next year and beyond.
“Breck has given me the opportunity to truly explore anything that I’m passionate about,” says Walker. “Anything that I’ve learned, especially in the realm of social justice, and anything I want to bring forward, I’ve had the opportunity to do that at Breck. I’ve been able to continue to defy narratives and keep seeking change and equality in the world. I’m excited to meet the different people who also won [this scholarship] to see where they come from, learn their story, and discover what makes them them. Hopefully I can share a little bit of where I’ve been with them as well.”
Join us in congratulating Will Walker ’23 on this incredible accomplishment!
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