One out of U.S. 26

FHS senior Li is Haslam Scholar

Farragut High School Class of 2019 senior Jessie Li is one of only 26 students from across the country recently named a Haslam Scholar.

To be part of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville 2019-20 incoming class, Li joins 14 other students from around the country and 11 from Tennessee to be named a Haslam Scholar, a top-tier honors program.

All students chosen had demonstrated academic excellence, served in leadership roles and have been avid community volunteers, stated Amy Blakely, assistant director of media and internal relations with UT Office of Media Relations in a press release.

Li plans to major in biomedical engineering and said she wants to do research leading to safer gene therapies, the press release further stated.

Through FHS Student Government Association, Li helped collect 22,000 cans of food for the Love Kitchen, an East Knoxville-based charity serving homebound and the homeless.

She also regularly volunteers in Methodist Medical Center’s emergency room and therapy services unit, and she founded an online tutoring program for Shuangwang Elementary School in rural China, using her bilingualism to supplement students’ English instruction, the press release stated.

“The Haslam Scholars Program was founded in 2008 with $2.5 million donation by Jimmy and Dee Haslam and a $2.5 million donation by Jim and Natalie Haslam,” Blakely stated in the press release.

“The program admits 15 scholars each year after a highly competitive selection process,” the release further stated. “This year’s appointed scholars were chosen from more than 500 applicants.

“Each scholar will receive scholarships to cover the estimated cost of in-state tuition and fees and the average cost of campus housing, along with funding to support independent research. Out-of-state Haslam Scholars receive a waiver granting them in-state tuition.”