Elise Sopelle, of Pequot Lakes, is one of 10 scholars selected to receive the Samsung American Legion Scholarship.
More than 4,500 high school juniors across the nation applied. Each Samsung American Legion National Scholar receives a $10,000 scholarship for undergraduate study expenses and a trip to Washington, D.C., to be honored for their accomplishments.
Administered by The American Legion since 1996, this scholarship fund is endowed by electronics leader Samsung in appreciation of U.S. veterans, with emphasis on the families of those who served during the Korean War. National Scholars must be a direct descendant of a war-time veteran.
Sopelle's great-grandfather was a World War II veteran and her grandfather is a Vietnam veteran.
To become a Samsung American Legion National Scholar, applicants must first be selected as a state finalist from their respective American Legion Boys State or American Legion Auxiliary Girls State program. The American Legion Committee on Youth Education then selects 10 applicants who have distinguished themselves through academic accomplishments and dedication to service in their communities.
While in Washington, D.C., Sopelle toured the White House, national monuments, met with members of Congress, viewed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown and participated in the Operation Overlook 75th Anniversary reading of the names at the WWII Memorial.
With the help of the Samsung American Legion Scholarship, Sopelle plans to attend the University of Northwestern in St. Paul in the fall to pursue a degree in Biblical and theological studies.