Becca Pontius, a 2013 Glenelg High School graduate, has been named one of 252 winners nationwide of the Goldwater Scholarship for mathematics, science, and engineering students.
Pontius is a junior chemistry major at Clemson University in South Carolina.
"This is to date the thing that I'm most proud of — achieving this Goldwater Scholarship," she said. "I put my whole self into it. This was a long process and a lot of work. It feels great. It was all worth it."
As a Goldwater Scholar, Pontius will receive up to $7,500 to cover tuition, fees, books and room and board until her graduation from college.
Winners were chosen based on academic merit from among 1,150 students nominated by representatives from more than 400 colleges and universities.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science, Pontius plans to pursue a doctorate in chemistry and is considering specializing in organic synthesis, according to a statement from Clemson.
Congress established the scholarship in 1986 in honor of Sen. Barry Goldwater, who served in the Senate for 30 years, and served as a soldier and statesman for a total of 56 years.