When David Beahr began applying for college scholarships, he never imagined how big it would pay off.
One of the scholarship possibilities the 2013 Windber Area High School graduate came across was the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program, which awards up to $100,000 to 100 seniors from across the country with an additional 1,000 seniors being awarded a one-time $2,000 scholarship.
This past summer Beahr, who currently is a freshman petroleum engineering major at West Virginia University, learned he was one of those 100 students chosen to receive the national college scholarship and named a Buick Achiever Scholar.
The scholarship pays $25,000 per year for four years.
One of the requirements specified is that applicants major in a course of study that focuses on engineering/technology, so it fit right into Beahr’s wheelhouse since he wanted to pursue a career in the petroleum engineering field.
His application also showcased his love of cars, and in his essay, Beahr wrote about helping his father restore a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle and driving his grandfather’s 1955 Ford Thunderbird. He also wrote about racing his own stock car.
An excerpt from the essay reads: Driving antiques always makes me think about America’s past time. A time when America’s success was built on the hard work of its people. Anymore, I feel like we are starting to forget where this success came from. They’re not just old cars, they’re sweat, work and history. History that came from days that my generation didn’t see.
“There were 2 million applicants for this scholarship,” Beahr said.
“It was an incredible honor to receive it. Although I did well in school, I think I really have my dad and grandfather to thank for fostering my interest in cars and classic car restoration. I think that’s what really helped set me apart.”
He also credits his experience at Windber for sparking his interest in engineering.
“I had great calculus and organic chemistry teachers who tied course material with real-life applications,” Beahr said.
“They really spiked my interest and helped lead me to where I am today.”
He added that he had a lot of faith going into his senior year of high school that something would come through to help him pay for college.
“God gives and he takes away, and right now he’s giving,” Beahr said.
For more information on the 2014 Buick Achievers Scholarship program, visit www.buick
Kelly Urban is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/KellyUrban25.