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Gov. Justice tells EQT scholarship recipients to work hard and acheive

CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice told recipients of the EQT Students of Excellence Scholarship Saturday that they need to work hard in order to achieve their goals in life.

Justice, honorary speaker for the annual scholarship program’s awards ceremony, which was held in the House of Delegates chamber this year, passed on words of encouragement his father gave him.

“My dad would have always told me, ‘Son, I don’t care how hard you try. I don’t care how much effort you put in. I expect you to achieve,’” Justice said. “Don’t confuse effort with accomplishment. I want you to achieve.”

He also told the students they must be passionate to succeed in life.

“There’s no way in the world you’re going to get to where you want to get to in life — there’s no way if you don’t have a real passion about what you’re doing,” Justice said. “I don’t care how smart you are.”

The EQT Foundation, the philanthropic arm of EQT Corp., offers the Students of Excellence Scholarship to high school seniors planning to pursue degrees in fields related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The goal of the scholarships is to encourage West Virginia students to go to college and work in the state after graduation.

On Saturday, six high school students were awarded full-ride scholarships for a maximum of $18,000 annually:

Brooke Burns, Brooke County, Scott High School; Lian Dunlevy, Monongalia County, Morgantown High School; Justin Lovell, Raleigh County, Shady Spring High School; Tylee Oldham, Putnam County, Hurricane High School; Afnan Safa, Kanawha County, George Washington High School; Catherine Stodola, Kanawha County, Herbert Hoover High School.

There were an additional 57 winners who received $1,000 scholarships.

This year’s scholarship recipients received a total of nearly half a million dollars.

Since the Students of Excellence Scholarship program began in 2009, the EQT Foundation has invested about $2 million in helping West Virginia students achieve their educational goals.