Two remarkable young men from the Cherry Creek School District have earned and accepted prestigious Boettcher Scholarships. Michael Anthony, a senior at Smoky Hill High School, and Sidharth Tyagi, a senior at Cherokee Trail High School, are 2015 Boettcher Scholars.
The Boettcher Scholarship program, established by the Boettcher Foundation in 1952, is the oldest and most competitive scholarship program in the state of Colorado. It provides a full-ride scholarship (tuition, books, room and board) to any four-year institution in Colorado. Each year, more than 1,600 students apply for the 40 available scholarships, which are awarded after a rigorous application and interview process. Boettcher Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of scholarship, leadership, service and character.
Given that criteria, it’s no surprise that Anthony and Tyagi were selected.
Anthony has earned a 4.0 grade point average while taking a rigorous load of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses. He has earned the AP Scholar with Honor Award and an IB Certificate of Recognition. An Eagle Scout and varsity cross country and track athlete, he is also very involved in school activities, serving as president of the Smoky Hill National Honor Society and Ambassadors Club and as secretary general of the Model United Nations Debate Team. Anthony has studied Japanese for five years and is a member of the Japanese National Honor Society. He studied in Japan in 2013 as an Ambassadorial Scholar Exchange Student.
Many of his efforts are focused on community service. He led a weeklong anti-bullying campaign at Smoky Hill, helped raised money for Diabetes research and people fighting Leukemia and Lymphoma, and participated in tornado recovery efforts in Joplin, Missouri in 2013.
“My passion is to give back while encouraging others to be their best through collaboration and a commitment to excellence,” Anthony said.
“In my 31 years in education, Michael will forever stand out,” said Michelle Kleve, counseling coordinator, Smoky Hill High School. “Not for his outstanding academics, athletic prowess or other talents. He will stand out for the positive impact he has made on his family, peers and community. Michael genuinely gives from the heart and wants to do something that will impact his world for the betterment of others.”
Anthony plans to study international business, computer science and biochemistry at the University of Denver. He ultimately wants to develop sustainable water systems for third world countries.
Cherokee Trail’s Sidharth Tyagi brings an equally impressive resume and compelling personal story to the ranks of Boettcher Scholars. This young man holds a 4.9 grade point average, is an AP Scholar with Distinction and an IB Diploma candidate. He has served as an officer in DECA and as vice president of the National Honor Society. He runs track, plays soccer, swims and has been on the varsity tennis team for two years. On top of all that, he works in a lab on the University of Colorado at Denver campus, conducting pharmaceutical research related to the application of protein folding on Muscular Dystrophy.
It’s hard to believe that just six years ago, at the tender age of 12, Tyagi was hospitalized and told he was going to die because of an eating disorder.
“I suffered from anorexia since 8th grade,” Tyagi said. “I was more afraid to admit that I had it because I wasn’t a girl. It’s hard for guys to deal with image issues.”
Research shows that men are less likely to seek treatment for eating disorders because of the perception that they are “woman’s diseases.” But fortunately, Tyagi got help – from family, friends, professionals and sports.
“The motivation I got from sports helped me more than anything,” Tyagi said.
That sparked an interest in sports medicine. Tyagi (who turned down Harvard, Duke, Vanderbilt and John Hopkins) plans to study biochemistry and computer science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He then wants to earn an MBA and go to medical school so he can pursue a career in sports medicine.
He’s hoping his experience in overcoming an eating disorder will allow him to help others facing similar challenges.
“It’s a huge part of my life and makes me who I am,” he said.
Two other Cherry Creek Schools students were offered Boettcher Scholarships, but decided to attend schools out of state. Cherokee Trail’s Caroline Kvietok accepted a comparable scholarship to attend North Carolina State and Cherry Creek High School’s Megha Patel will attend the University of Chicago. In addition, Eaglecrest’s Gabe Scott was named a Boettcher Scholarship alternate.