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Peak Charter Academy Student Receives $5,000 College Scholarship

Peak Charter Academy student receives CollegeBound™ Scholarship check during surprise celebration
APEX, N.C., June 17, 2021 — A college degree has arguably never been more important nor more expensive. Scholarships provide financial assistance to students who hope and dream of a college education and to provide ease to financial burdens.
Ankur Rao, eighth-grade student at Peak Charter Academy, was honored at an assembly on June 8. School leaders made an announcement during lunchtime to announce that Rao has been named a 2021 CollegeBound™ Scholarship recipient and presented a giant check for winning the $5,000 college scholarship. This is the third year in a row Peak Charter Academy has had a CollegeBound Scholarship winner.
“We are so proud of Ankur Rao for being named a NHA 2021 CollegeBound™ Scholarship winner. He is an excellent scholar and a wonderful young man whose positive demeanor and enthusiasm for learning are true assets to the Peak community,” said Steve Pond, principal at Peak. “We know that Ankur will enjoy great success in high school and look forward to his applying the CollegeBound™ Scholarship to the university or college of his dreams in the fall of 2025. Way to go, Ankur!”

Rao is one of only four recipients of the annual CollegeBoundTM Scholarship, courtesy of National Heritage Academies (NHA). Students from 89 schools in nine states across the country applied for the scholarship.
Rao was selected from hundreds of applicants after being reviewed by the CollegeBound Scholarship Committee, which considers academic performance, community involvement, and a written essay. The essay focuses on one of three topics, including community service, real-world application of Moral Focus virtues, or influences for their decision to pursue a STEM education track.
“It is our pleasure to recognize Ankur as a recipient of the 2021 CollegeBound Scholarship,” said Brian Britton, CEO of National Heritage Academies. “It has been a year filled with change and we couldn’t be more proud of his dedication and hard work in the classroom and beyond. We look forward to seeing the many good things he will go on to accomplish.”

Rao has volunteered at stemarga for over two years, teaching Computer Additive Design and 3D Printing to third- through seventh-grade students. In addition to his volunteer work packing food at youth villages and launching a community library, Rao also teaches STEM for Youth Villages home for children. In that role, he hopes students develop curiosity and start exploring and engaging at a young age.
All NHA eighth-grade students were eligible to enter for their chance at the scholarship. The winners were chosen by an independent professional selection group.
“I have enjoyed watching Ankur grow over the past few years,” said Robert Walter, eighth-grade science teacher at Peak. “It would be difficult to argue that someone is more deserving of this award than Ankur. I can say with absolute certainty that he will use this scholarship for amazing things as he continues to exemplify the core values of Peak.”
Check out WRAL telling the story here.
About Peak Charter Academy:
Peak Charter Academy, managed by National Heritage Academies, is a free, public charter school serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade in the Apex area. For more information, visit