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HVHS student receives prestigious Jefferson Scholarship from UVA

Abhi KharriAbhi Karri, a senior at Hidden Valley High School, has been awarded one of the most highly selective merit scholarships in the nation. The Jefferson Scholars Foundation at the University of Virginia selected Abhi as one of 40 recipients of the Jefferson Scholarship. He will commence his studies in the fall at U.Va.

In order to be named a Scholar, candidates must undergo a rigorous, highly competitive, multi-stage selection process. First, they are nominated by their high schools or affiliated organizations based on their demonstrated excellence and exceptional potential in the areas of leadership, scholarship, and citizenship. Once nominated, the students go through at least one round of regional interviews. If selected as a regional finalist, students are then invited to participate in a final round of interviews. This year, nearly 2,200 students were nominated for the Scholarship, and 139 finalists were invited to take part in remote interviews conducted by U.Va. alumni and faculty.

The 40 selected recipients of the 2022 Jefferson Scholarship boast a number of significant achievements and Abhi is no exception. During his time at Hidden Valley High School, Abhi’s experiences went well beyond the classroom.

Last year, while we experienced quarantine, Abhi decided to pursue becoming a state certified EMT. He currently works for the Cave Spring Rescue Squad. He runs calls with his squad and helps people around the community. He also helps to train others interested in becoming an EMT. Often, he returns home at 2:00 AM and then finishes homework before catching a few hours of sleep prior to school. 

“He did all of this on his own and during the little spare time that he has. For the last five years, he has volunteered at a local hospital serving patients. During his time at Lewis Gale Hospital, he developed a system to assist patients with speech difficulties and trained new volunteers on how to use it. He shared that his time there has taught him how to deal with sorrow and pain in others and how to comfort them through their journey even if their next destination is death,” said Christina Bamber, HVHS school counselor.

In addition to receiving the full cost of attending the University for four years, Jefferson Scholars benefit from a number of enrichment programs sponsored by the Foundation, including travel abroad, career networking activities, an outdoor challenge program, and a leadership speaker series.

“We are incredibly proud of Abhi and we are honored that he has been awarded this prestigious scholarship,” said Josh Whitlow, principal of Hidden Valley High School.  “Abhi has been an amazing student and I look forward to seeing what this talented young man will accomplish in the future,” Whitlow said.