By Andrew Howard ’17
Daniel Bonner ’17 was one of 23 students out of about 700 applicants to receive the Flinn Scholarship, which covers all collegiate expenses to in-state universities, and even includes two opportunities to study abroad.
According to Flinn.org, the merit-based scholarship program, now 31 years into the program, covers the cost of tuition, fees, room and board and at least two study-abroad experiences. The overall financial package is valued at more than $115,000.
Bonner was deciding between Barrett, The Honors College at ASU, and the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, a school he said he had wanted to attend since he was little. Once he won the Flinn, the decision became much easier.
“All of the opportunities, the community you’re welcomed into, all the current and Alumni Flinn scholars, it’s second to none,” he said.
Bonner said he was interested in the scholarship after his brother made it to the semifinals when applying to college last year.
“My brother applied and he was a first cut semifinalist, but him applying and getting somewhere with it kind of introduced me to the Flinn, and it being a full ride with all the travel benefits,” he said.
Bonner said the application process was similar to many other schools.
“Applying was pretty much like any other college application, a series of essays and short answer questions, teacher recommendations, activities,” Bonner said. “From there they pick semifinalists and they interview, and then after that they do a finalist interview, and then after that they pick the class of 23 Flinn Scholars.”
Mr. Mike Welty ’83 has taught Bonner three times in Honors Physics, AP Physics 2 and currently teaches him in AP physics C.
Mr. Welty said that no one deserves this honor more then Bonner.
“I’ve had enough years in education to understand what it means to win the Flinn,” he said. “It is more than just academic talent, which we have tons of guys here with academic talent, but the Flinn is looking for guys with all around talent. Athletics is important, a significant outside of school activity, service work, basically that they have articulated a vision for their own future.”
“The guys and girls that win the Flinn have to convince them that they are worthy of an investment, which is hard to do,” he said.
Mr. Welty said that even though Bonner’s performance in his classes has been excellent, how he interacts with his fellow classmates is what truly stands out.
“Not only is he a good student, but he treats people with a tremendous amount of respect, he is really easy to work with and work for, if people need help he is the first person to look to,” Mr. Welty said.