From the beginning of her high school career, Brooklyn Knight has been thinking about and preparing for life after graduation.

The 18-year-old Apollo High School senior was one of the first students to participate in the Daviess County Public School Engineering Academy and Life Science Academy. As a junior, she joined the DCPS Early College Academy, which is part of the Owensboro Community & Technical College Discover College program that enables students to work toward higher education degrees while still in high school.

To top off those accolades, Knight was recently honored as one of 15 Phi Theta Kappa members across the United States to be named a Guistwhite Scholar. Guistwhite Scholars receive a $5,000 scholarship for baccalaureate studies, and Knight plans to use hers to continue a degree in biology and pre-med at the University of Kentucky.

"I am very thankful to have received such an incredible honor," Knight said. "I feel very blessed with the wonderful opportunities and connections God has given me to reach this point. I am also very thankful for the support of my friends and family; I could not be where I am today without them."

According to a press release sent by OCTC, the scholarship is named in honor of the late Margaret and Dr. Jack Guistwhite who established the scholarship exclusively for Phi Theta Kappa members in 1975. PTK is an honor society recognizing academic achievement of community college students. It is made up of more than 3.5 million members.

PTK President and CEO Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner said in the release that this scholarship has been a "transformational force in the lives of PTK members."

"It is fitting that we continue to honor our students who excel in scholarship and leadership as Guistwhite Scholars in celebration of Jack and Margaret," Tincher-Ladner added.

Knight serves as the vice president of the OCTC Student Government Association, and vice president of scholarships of the OCTC PTK chapter. She is also one of the two National Merit Semifinalists from Apollo, is an OCTC Hager Scholar, and is one of 32 students nominated for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System All-Academic Team.

She graduates from high school in May, and said her plans are to work in the medical field after completing her education.

"On my journey towards a medical career, it has been my dream to study abroad and learn about the varying medical practices across the globe," she said. "With this scholarship, I can achieve my educational and professional dreams."

OCTC President Scott Williams said he is excited that Knight has been selected for this honor.

"She is a great example of what can happen when students take advantage of all the opportunities that are presented," he said. "PTK is a great organization and we try to encourage all eligible students to participate."

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

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