A member of Richmond Hill High School’s class of 2014 has been accepted to Mercer University’s undergraduate and medical schools.
Sydney Koenig, 18, is attending Mercer in the fall, not only with multiple scholarships, but also as one of 11 students who are part of the Mercer School of Medicine’s Guaranteed Admission Program.
This program enables qualified incoming freshman to be admitted to Mercer’s School of Medicine following the completion of their undergraduate degree at Mercer, if they meet certain criteria.
Koenig said she first became interested in Mercer after she received an essay scholarship specifically for Mercer her junior year.
When she went to Mercer to accept the scholarship she said she not only noticed how beautiful the campus was, but also how there was a lot of emphasis on the importance of service.
“My favorite thing to do is to volunteer and serve,” said Koenig, “so it felt like a perfect match.”
Her love of serving came from her family, “my family has been working and volunteering for as long I can remember,” she said.
When volunteering at St. Anne’s Catholic Church’s Sunday school she fell in love with volunteering, she said, “it’s good to help people instead of helping yourself.”
Koenig plans on becoming a pediatric geneticist. She said she has always been interested in medicine, but it wasn’t until her junior year that decided on what kind of medicine she’d like to pursue.
Koenig also received Mercer’s prestigious Stamps Leadership Scholarship. The value of the scholarship for the four years at Mercer is worth about $221,000 and includes enrichment funds for international travel, research internships and outdoor leadership experiences, according to the Stamps press release.
Admissions counselor Patricia Hardesty said Koenig’s leadership on top of her community involvement is really what made her stand out from other applicants.
Koenig was a drum major for the Richmond Hill High School band and served as the vice president of the National Honor Society and of Beta Club. She was also a referee and coach for children’s soccer.
Koenig “was chosen for her leadership, scholarship, perseverance, service and creativity,” according to the press release.
The application requirement for Mercer School of Medicine Guaranteed Admission Program includes at least a 1,300 on the math and verbal sections on the SAT, or at least a 29 on the ACT, a grade point average of 3.7 or higher and a number of recommendations.
Cyndy Glasscock, who was the director of Religious Education at St. Anne’s when Koenig taught Sunday school, wrote her letter of character recommendation. Glasscock described Koenig as a persistent and genuine volunteer who had a precocious drive.
Glasscock thinks persistent effort is what the program saw in Koenig.
She said that her precocious drive hasn’t changed; it’s just become “more chiseled and toned and will be become more precise as she goes to medical school.”
Koenig said the cool thing about the program is that “once you graduate from the medical school they hook you up with a rural area in Georgia that needs doctors, so it puts you where you are most needed.”
Normally only 10 students are accepted, but Mercer took 11 this year because there was a tie between two students. To maintain eligibility students must complete all medical school admission requirements, graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years, maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher and score at least 28 on the Medical College Admission Test.