The College Board National Recognition Programs create pathways to college for students from underrepresented communities by awarding them academic honors and connecting them with universities across the country.

According to the collegereadiness.collegeboard.org website, these programs grant students academic honors that can be included on college applications. Colleges then use these honors to identify students from underrepresented groups who have excelled on their PSAT/NMSQT and in their classrooms.

College Board recently congratulated three seniors from Ripley High School for becoming National Rural and Small Town Recognition Scholars. Cayden Adkins, Samuel Carpenter, and Wesley Hopper have earned this recognition because of their remarkable academic achievements and their outstanding performance on the PSAT/NMSQT, scoring in the top 2.5 percent of test-takers.

Cayden Adkins said it felt nice to win an award and he is thankful for the recognition. According to him, academics are very important.

“I think it’s fairly clear that for the vast majority of children and teenagers, prowess in academics will dictate their success in the future, myself included, whether it be economic success or even ability to achieve personal happiness,” Adkins said. “I think more of the younger generation of our state should place extra emphasis on their education and work diligently to succeed. All too often, children across, not only the state but the country, throw away a great ticket to success, that ticket being education.”

Adkins has already been accepted into Statler College at West Virginia University to double major in mechanical and aerospace engineering. However, he has also been entered as a candidate for a full-ride scholarship at Virginia.

“I would likely have a similar major if I attend UV,” Adkins said. “Although at either school I attend, I would not be surprised if my major changed before graduation, because I find many fields very interesting.”

Samuel Carpenter said he is honored to receive the award and that it was good to know that all of his hard work is not going unnoticed.

“Academics are a huge part of my life,” Carpenter said. “I value academics over everything else. Academics are very important in my future because, to get a good degree and a good job, you have to be motivated and a hard worker.”

Carpenter has been accepted to West Virginia University where he also plans to dual major in aerospace and mechanical engineering.

“After finishing my undergraduate studies at WVU, I may continue on to graduate school at a different university,” he said. “I am still undecided on that.”

Robert Hopper, who goes by Wesley, said he was happy to receive the honor.

“Academics are the most important thing to me and to my future,” he said.

Planning to either go into the medical field or get a business degree, Hopper said he has applied and been accepted to West Virginia University.

Having received the College Board award, Hopper said he may apply to other schools as well.

Colleges know that students who have earned this recognition are some of the most talented across the country.

College Board, along with the staff of Ripley High School, is extremely proud of all these gentlemen have accomplished and are pleased to honor them as part of this program.