Hard work in the classroom pays off for Warren County student
A Warren County School District student has been recognized for his talents and hard work by an institution of higher learning.
On Thursday, Mitchell Angove was offered the Thiel College President’s Scholarship — four full years of tuition.
The announcement was made Thursday at Eisenhower High School. Mitchell’s parents, Scott and Kim Angove, did not spill the beans, and had convinced him that he was just going to be signing papers.
Inside the guidance office conference room, Angove found an oversized scholarship check for $125,000 waiting for him.
When Thiel brought back the President’s Scholarship this year, it was looking for one recipient.
“We invited about 400 students nationwide,” Thiel Coordinator of Events and Multicultural Recruitment Angella Bradley, who is Angove’s admission counselor, said Thursday at Eisenhower.
Just under 100 of those students applied. Each had two interviews with faculty members.
The interviews counted for 50 percent of the process, with 30 percent dependent on GPA, and the rest on SAT scores, Bradley said.
Angove impressed his interviewers and his scores put him at the top of the list.
The full ride has actually made his decision harder.
Thiel was not among Angove’s original list of possible colleges.
Angove plans to study genetic engineering. A biology degree from Thiel is a possible step along that path.
He was initially looking to Clemson and St. Bonaventure. He has also applied to Penn State and Belmont.
Thiel appeared on the radar in part due to Angove’s grandmother, Thiel alumna Carol Mitchell.
Last year, Angove applied for an internship at a genetic engineering laboratory in Maine.
When he didn’t get in, his grandmother got him in contact with Fred Haer, who has contacts at the laboratory, his own laboratory, and a science building at Thiel named after him.
Haer also happens to be a graduate of Warren High School.
They met on campus, where Angove’s list of prestigious acquaintances grew.
“He showed me around and we actually had lunch with the president,” Angove said. “She mentioned, ‘Why don’t you apply to Thiel?'”
“She started to talk about what Thiel had,” he said. “She mentioned they had this full-ride scholarship competition that I should apply for.”
“It changed from a school I never even looked at,” he said. “I’ve gone to multiple events, toured a couple times, gone to this competition… It really turned into a much more reasonable possibility.”
His sister, Kelsey, Facetimed their grandmother during the ceremony. When ‘Mommom’ got a look at the check with Thiel blue and gold balloons in the background, she exclaimed, “$125,000!?”
“I got the full ride,” Angove said.
Although he is an Eisenhower High School student, Angove doesn’t spend much of his school day there.
He has been increasingly enrolled in the district’s dual-enrollment program with St. Bonaventure since his sophomore year and has already amassed about one and a half years worth of college credit.
“He has been in college for three years,” Scott Angove said. “We were happy to see him do well there.”
Last year, he had one class at Eisenhower — AP biology — and the rest through St. Bonaventure. Once he started driving, his daily schedule included going to his dual enrollment classes, driving to Eisenhower, then going to two different jobs.
This year, due to a scheduling conflict, he is taking organic chemistry through an independent study offering from Warren Area High School and everything else through dual-enrollment.
He has taken online courses every year and has satisfied his graduation requirements and finished his coursework at Eisenhower.
“There have been great teachers and administrators here,” he said. “Mrs. Swanson, the biology teacher, really sparked my love of biology and genetic engineering specifically.”
But, Angove credits his parents with driving his academic success.
“By far, they have been the largest pushing and inspiration point,” he said.
“We firmly believe that it is the parents’ obligation and responsibility to be their child’s advocate in the system,” Kim Angove said. “No one knows your child better than you.”
“Our strongest goal for Mitchell was for him to learn to be his own advocate, to fight for what he wanted, to say what he needed,” she said. “We’re incredibly proud of the mature, strong advocate that he has become.”
He learned that lesson well and even showed it at the ceremony.
With that year-and-a-half of college credit in hand, Angove asked Bradley what would happen to the full amount of the scholarship if he were to attend Thiel for less than four years.
She said she would check on the possibility of applying some of the scholarship to room and board.
Despite an oversized, six-figure check in front of him, Angove did not commit to Thiel on Thursday. He may not take advantage of the scholarship at all.
Angove has been accepted to Clemson University and offered a partial scholarship there.
The offer is the largest academic scholarship available there, but would still only pay one-third of the out-of-state tuition. He has applied to enter the university’s honors program and could see additional dollars if he is successful.
Or, Clemson could be an option down the road. “Clemson does have a great graduate program,” Angove said.
Guidance Counselor Chris Demorest said Angove “got Yahtzee. He’s got it all.”
“Mitch is an outstanding kid. He’s going to do some great things,” he said. “He wants to be on that razor’s edge.”
“He’s going to be an Eisenhower graduate,” Demorest said. “I’m proud that he’s part of that pedigree.”
He had this advice for Angove. “Eat it up. Chew slowly. You only get to go through this once.”