Among 218 students of the 14th class of Stamps Scholars was Omar Mansy of Lake Nona High School.
The Stamps Family Charitable Foundation Scholarship is valued at $36 million, and they choose students based on “their academic excellence, leadership experience, and exceptional character,” according to the scholarship.
“This year’s group of new students joins us at a time when our alumni network has grown stronger and more capable to be leaders in innovation across STEM, humanities, business and other fields,” Roe Stamps, founder and chairman of the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, said in a press release.
We were able to catch up with Mansy for his reaction to being awarded the prestigious honor.
Nonahood News: What kind of value of education where you brought up with?
Omar Mansy: I think that education has always been a priority in my household. Nothing overbearing, but certainly a priority. I kind of came to mostly enjoy school and was motivated to succeed.
NHN: Walk us through how you won the scholarship.
OM: So, I suppose skipping the whole high school part of the process, I applied to Georgia Tech by the early action deadline in October of senior year. I think I had heard of the Stamps Scholarship before but wasn’t too sure of what it was exactly. I got my letter of admission to Tech in January, and just a few days later, I received an email saying that, based on my application, I was named a semifinalist for Stamps and that I had a local interview in three weeks. I was honestly kind of shocked; I knew it was a possibility, but me? So, I submitted the requested résumé and prepared for the interview the best I could. The day came, and after a surprisingly fun 30 minutes, it was over. Two weeks later, I found out that I was selected as one of 100 finalists nationwide and was invited for an on-campus interview/activity weekend. That weekend was tiring, frankly a bit intimidating, but ultimately really fun. Everyone there was amazing, each with their own thing, many who later got into Ivies, and it was super easy to find bright peers who are overall just awesome to be around. I didn’t think I did as good in those interviews as the first round, but to my surprise, I was selected as a scholarship winner, joining the Stamps Scholar community.
NHN: What do you want to study in college and what inspired you to become passionate about it?
OM: I am studying chemical and biomolecular engineering at Tech. I would say I’ve always had the spirit of an engineer from building those “build your own” wooden cut-out cars, planes and dinosaurs when I was young to the many competitions I did in middle and high school, building model bridges, towers, helicopters, planes and robots. I gained a passion for chemistry in the latter half of high school; I had an amazing AP Chemistry teacher (shout out to the “Tomlin-ator”), and I felt that I connected with the content easily. I enjoyed the labs and later competed in a chemistry event, and it became a passion of mine.
NHN: What kind of career do you hope to have after college?
OM: I am not 100% sure as of now. I plan on attending graduate school; I may pursue a research track or work in the industry. I’m really interested in pharmaceuticals, especially the prospect of implementing 3D printing and programmable, automated “chemputers,” which can democratize the industry and reduce drug costs exponentially.
NHN: Tell me a little bit about your high school experience.
OM: I didn’t have too much time since I was really busy with both AP and dual enrollment, especially in the second half of high school. More importantly, I was very involved in clubs like MSA, NASA, MAΘ, and science club, where I competed in a dozen science competitions. I grew a lot, made lifelong friends, worked hard, and had some fun while at it. I view it as a prequel to hopefully an even better next four years.
NHN: Give me a little background on your family: What do your parents do? Do you have any siblings?
OM: I was born in the Midwest, but my parents are ethnically from Egypt. I have two siblings, an older brother and an older sister. My dad is a professor in the mechanical and aerospace engineering department at UCF, and my mom is awesome – in terms of occupation, she’s mostly stay-at-home, but also subs at Lake Nona High School.
NHN: What do you like to do for fun?
OM: I can always go for a session of tabletops with friends. Flashpoint, Risk, Pandemic, and traditional ones like Monopoly and Clue are always a blast. I like to go out with friends and also game every now and then.