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American Scholar winners receive nearly $100,000 in scholarships

November 2, 2009 : University Advancement staff

Cameron Jesalva, a senior at Fort Defiance High School in Waynesboro, Va., poses with family and friends at Saturday's football game, where he was announced the winner of a four-year scholarship to Liberty University.

Since early August, high school juniors and seniors have been submitting their testimonies and academic records to a Central Virginia radio station in hopes of winning a four-year, full tuition scholarship to Liberty University. Now, after an intense evaluation period, Spirit FM’s American Scholar contest has come to an end and college has become a reality for three deserving high school students.

During halftime at Saturday’s football game, Cameron Jesalva of Waynesboro, Va., was announced the four-year Liberty University scholarship winner (valued at $65,000). Runners-up Lauren Lovekamp, of Greenville, Va., and Amariah Masud, of Riner, Va., were each awarded a one-year tuition paid scholarship to Liberty University.

The American Scholar Award is given annually to a high school junior or senior in Spirit FM’s listening area. The station narrows down the entrants to the top three deserving students, and the winner’s name is drawn by random.

Jesalva, a senior at Fort Defiance High School, sings in the youth worship band at Ridgeview Baptist Church. 

"I'm just very excited and very happy, of course," Jesalva said. "It was a great experience being in this competition. I plan on studying in the medical field and using that to help outreach to people in the Philippines."

Both Spirit FM and Liberty aim to reach people for Christ as well as minister to believers. Spirit FM has been a vital contributor for conferences and concerts held at Liberty, including Winterfest, an exciting two-day event to ring in the New Year. This past year, the LU Alumni Relations Office worked with the station and God’s Pit Crew in a food drive to provide for families affected by the current economic situation.

Partnering with Spirit FM allows Liberty University to cross boundaries in communication and give more people the opportunity to participate in its campus events. The American Scholar Award is just another way that Liberty University is blessing people with the gift of education.