Samantha HoangLong, a senior at Burnsville High School, has been selected as the 2017 ThreeSixty Scholar and will receive a full-tuition, four-year scholarship to study communication and journalism at the University of St. Thomas starting this fall.
ThreeSixty Journalism is a nonprofit program of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas, which uses the principles of strong writing and reporting to help diverse Minnesota youth tell the stories of their lives and communities, according to the website www.threesixtyjournalism.org.
Each year, students who participate in the ThreeSixty summer journalism camp compete for the scholarship, valued at more than $160,000 over four years.
"Receiving the ThreeSixty scholarship means having the opportunity to go to college and pursue a career that I'm passionate about," said Samantha. "To me, the scholarship is more than just a financial benefit, it puts me on a pathway that is the start of an exciting life journey."
Samantha joined ThreeSixty in summer 2016 and completed the program’s College Essay Boot Camp, Rookie Journalist Camp and News Reporter Academy. Her story, “Adding their own flavor: Harding trio gets once-in-a-lifetime chance to display culinary chops in D.C.,” was featured in the Pioneer Press in September 2016.
“Samantha stood out early on,” said Miles Trump, ThreeSixty program manager. “Throughout her time with ThreeSixty, she’s emerged as a strong writer, communicator and leader among her peers. We’re lucky to have her, and so is St. Thomas.”
Samantha also participated in a special ThreeSixty partnership project with Minnesota Public Radio at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair and on ThreeSixty’s News Team for the 2016–17 school year.
At Burnsville High School, Samantha is a member of the National Honor Society and the #BurnsvilleStrong group. She volunteers with Bowls for BrainPower and at an elementary afterschool program. She serves on the high school’s Youth Service Advisory Council and recently completed an internship with the Vietnamese Student Association of Minnesota. She’s also performed in school music productions. She received the 2016 Youth Frontiers Character Award for being an exceptional leader who exemplifies the values of kindness, courage and respect.