Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Big Day Times 2 for Clay Junior Scholarship in Morning, Another That Evening

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Big Day Times 2 for Clay Junior Scholarship in Morning, Another That Evening

Article excerpt

GREEN COVE SPRINGS -- Anyone questioning the state of America's youth should look at 17-year-old Ashley Glass, Clay High School junior extraordinaire.

Ashley is at the top of her 470-member class -- with a 4.7 weighted grade-point average -- and aspires to be class valedictorian next year.

She helps teach elementary school children how to stay away from drugs. She is a varsity cheerleader, a dancer and a lifeguard at the community pool at Eagle Harbor, where she lives. She and her family are helping establish a new church in the Green Cove Springs area.

Those kinds of credentials led to what may be the biggest day of Ashley's young life.

On March 13, in the morning mail, she was notified that she won a full-tuition, four-year scholarship to a Florida college from The Boselli Foundation. That night she was named Miss Clay High, which also comes with a scholarship.

"It was overwhelming. I felt like I had worked so hard and it finally all paid off," she said, breaking into a big smile.

People who know her well were not surprised.

Sherry Wise, a Clay High English teacher who taught Ashley in the 10th grade and is one of her biggest fans, said Ashley is most likely to succeed at whatever she does.

"She is very organized. She is focused," Wise said. "She asks questions until she gets whatever she needs."

And she is the kind of student who gives educators reason to get up in the morning, said Wise, one of the few teachers to have given Ashley a B grade, despite her student's pleadings for an A.

"I would adopt her," she said. "She is so wonderful and we are so proud of her."

Wise said that Ashley's accomplishments at Clay High are particularly noteworthy, since she has been there only since her sophomore year. She and her family -- dad David, mom Lynn and brother, Jacob, currently a seventh-grader at Lakeside Junior High -- moved to Clay County that year from Texas.

"It can be difficult to blend in, to be accepted," Wise said.

But Ashley was determined. Before her family's move, she even flew to Florida to participate in the school's cheerleader tryouts.

"I had a plan," she said.

And her planning culminated on March 13.

That morning, she said she was "very stressed out" in anticipation of the Miss Clay High pageant that night, for which she had spent weeks preparing and rehearsing.

When the morning mail arrived, it contained the good news about Ashley being one of four winners of a Boselli Foundation Christian Scholar-Athlete Scholarship.

The foundation, formed by Jacksonville Jaguar Tony Boselli, bills the scholarship program as a way "to reward Christian leaders who are achieving academic excellence while also striving to reach their full athletic potential." Among other criteria, applicants have to have maintained a grade-point average of at least 3. …

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