Senior Sarah Heebe Awarded Prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship

After a rigorous multistage selection process, senior Sarah Heebe has been awarded the esteemed Morehead-Cain Scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This scholarship, renowned as the nation’s oldest and most prestigious merit scholarship program, covers all expenses for four years of undergraduate study at UNC and features four distinctive summer enrichment experiences. Scholars have the opportunity to complete an outdoor leadership course, carry out public service in the United States or abroad, conduct research at sites around the world, and gain experience in private enterprise.
Sarah, the second student in Country Day’s history to receive the Morehead-Cain Scholarship, expressed her excitement about the opportunity, highlighting her anticipation to meet scholars from diverse backgrounds. She shared, "The ones I have met so far have been nothing short of amazing, not to mention extremely friendly!" Sarah also mentioned her enthusiasm for the Lovelace Fund for Discovery, which would support her research interests.

Reflecting on her journey, Sarah acknowledged the pivotal role Country Day and her college counselor, Ms. Barrilleaux, played in preparing her for the highly competitive selection process. She credited Ms. Barrilleaux for introducing her to the opportunity and guiding her through the application process. "I wouldn’t have ever known about this opportunity if not for Country Day. Ms. Barrilleaux called me over the summer and encouraged me to apply. When I had some doubts, she calmly and thoughtfully explained the entire process to me." Sarah emphasized the invaluable support she received from her teachers and principal at Country Day, stating, "Throughout the year, she prepped me for all the facets of the application experience: essays, videos, and interviews. I definitely would not have been able to get through it without her support and the support of my principal and all my teachers."

Furthermore, Sarah expressed her gratitude towards Country Day, stating, "I cannot thank Country Day enough for all it has done for me: challenging me academically, opening up extracurricular opportunities for me, and cheering me on at every step along the way. Though difficult, or even by virtue of their difficulty, my classes have made me confident I am ready to take on this next phase of my life." She highlighted the challenging yet rewarding academic curriculum that has equipped her with the confidence to transition to the next phase of her education.

Last year, 66 scholars were selected from 24 North Carolina counties, 17 U.S. states, and eight countries. The selection process for the Morehead-Cain Scholarship “involves months of application review, virtual and in-person selection meetings, and semifinalist interviews leveraging the expertise of Foundation staff, a corps of professional readers, and hundreds of alumni interviewers and evaluators. Candidates enter the process by nomination, and the selection criteria for the Morehead-Cain are leadership, academic achievement, moral force of character, and physical vigor. Morehead-Cain recipients are chosen solely on the basis of merit and accomplishment, not financial need.

Since its founding, the Morehead-Cain Program has been a model for countless scholarships throughout the United States. These include the University of Virginia’s Jefferson Scholars Program, Duke University’s Benjamin N. Duke Scholars Program, and Emory University’s Woodruff Scholars Program.