9 winners of prestigious Flinn Scholarship choose ASU


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Nine of the 20 Flinn Scholars for 2024 have chosen to attend Arizona State University. ASU photo

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Nine Flinn Scholars, winners of the state’s most prestigious scholarship, have chosen to become Arizona State University Sun Devils for fall 2024.

The nine first-year students, among 20 Flinn Scholars for 2024, will be in Barrett, The Honors College, at their respective campuses. Eight will be based on the Tempe campus, and one at the West Valley campus.

The Flinn Scholarship, supported by the Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation and Arizona’s three state universities, covers the cost of tuition, fees, housing, meals and at least two study abroad experiences. The merit-based award is valued at more than $130,000.

Young man smiling
Mikah Dyer

Mikah Dyer, who is graduating this week from Ironwood High School, will be attending ASU’s West Valley campus to major in secondary education.

“It’s about five minutes from my high school, which some people might not love but I’m excited about,” Dyer said.

“Both of my parents got their bachelor’s degree from ASU West and after my first time stepping on the campus, when I was a junior, I fell in love. It’s small but growing, and I love the area.”

Dyer wants to be a middle school social studies teacher, and has always had an interest in politics.

“I’m still passionate about that (politics), but I have such a passion for education,” he said.

“It’s the great equalizer. If every kid received a good education, they can do anything they want to. I’ve had such impactful teachers in my life that allowed me to do amazing things.”

Those twin passions have inspired Dyer to run for a school board seat in the Peoria Unified School District, which he’s attended since kindergarten.

“It’s so important to have a current student, who has direct knowledge from kindergarten to graduation, who has that experience, to bring in the voice of the students,” he said.

“I want to be a teacher in the classroom. We’re seeing a problem with educator retention. We see teachers leaving after a year or two, and I want to attract other young people to be teachers.”

Dyer said he was drawn to apply for the Flinn Scholarship because of its goal.

“The number one thing that drew me was the fact that they’re calling Arizona high schoolers who are high-achieving to stay in Arizona and make a difference,” he said.

young woman smiling
Zahrah Ralph

Zahrah Ralph, who is graduating from Mountain Ridge High School this week, also became inspired during a visit to ASU.

“I did a summer camp for engineering at ASU and I really enjoyed it, and the mechanical engineering program is top tier,” she said of her major.

“And the location is close to a lot of big companies where I see myself interning and working in the future. And just being in the environment and walking from the Barrett dorm to the engineering room, I was able to envision myself at ASU.”

Ralph found her interest in high school.

“From a young age, I’ve always been creative, but I was unsure what I wanted to do until high school, when I took my first engineering class and thrived in it,” she said.

“I love everything engineering related and I landed on mechanical engineering because I love the design process and looking at how things work.”

Ralph said she’s looking forward to joining the student organizations Engineering Without Borders and the Black Student Union.

Portrait of young woman with long dark hair and glasses wearing a green blouse and black blazer
Ariana Rahman

Ariana Rahman has always been interested in nature and biology and decided to pursue a degree in biological sciences.

“When I was really young, I used to watch ants crawl into their homes and I was always fascinated with nature and biology in general. I was a curious kid,” she said.

“I did science fair as a main extracurricular. I started off figuring out which fruit had the most vitamin C, and in high school I was doing cancer research at the Biodesign Institute,” said Rahman, who is graduating from Basis Chandler and is a remote intern for the Stanford University School of Medicine.

After her bachelor’s degree, she wants to pursue a PhD in medical research.

“I love researching, but I don’t just want to see patients as a number, so I also want to get an MD,” she said.

Rahman is looking forward to the small-college feel of Barrett, The Honors College that’s within a big campus.

“I’m interested in those deeper connections and also really excited for campus life,” she said.

The other Flinn Scholars attending ASU and their majors are: Carolyn Austin, Shadow Ridge High School, culture, technology and environment; Vyktorianna Bowler, Holbrook High School, mechanical engineering; Dominic Castagna, Arizona College Prep, electrical engineering; Chloe Greetis, Chaparral High School, global health; Brendan Salisbury, Barry Goldwater High School, neuroscience; and Edward Wang, Basis Flagstaff, electrical engineering.

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