An Oklahoma high school senior has been named a Chancellor Hans Brisch Scholar for outstanding leadership, civic involvement and academic talent. Ariel Luna, Wagoner High School, will receive a $2,000 award through the Chancellor Hans Brisch Scholarship program.
The Chancellor’s Scholars Program was created in 1990 with private funds. The program was renamed in 2006 to honor Brisch, who served as chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education for 15 years. Brisch retired in 2003 and passed away in February 2006.
Luna was selected from 57 nominations made by high school principals statewide.
“We congratulate this exceptional student who excels both academically and in giving back to her community,” said Chancellor Allison D. Garrett. “Ms. Luna joins an elite group of young Oklahoma leaders who personify distinction in academic achievement and service. We wish her continued success as she pursues a college degree.”
Throughout her high school career, Luna focused on improving her school environment and helping fellow students through various community service projects. After noticing that a lack of appropriate clothing often led to poor student attendance, depleted confidence and discomfort, Luna worked with high school administrators to create the Wagoner High School Clothing Closet, including gathering and processing donations, identifying needs, and connecting students to clothing resources. As a result of her efforts, WHS saw an increase in student engagement in events and activities, fewer attendance issues related to lack of appropriate clothing, and improved student self-confidence.
In addition to her work with the WHS Clothing Closet, Luna spent countless hours in service to Brighter Futures, an educational and recreational enrichment program for at-risk youth. She engaged in numerous other volunteer activities in the community and at school and was selected by WHS faculty as the female Rotary Senior of the Month for August 2021.
Luna participated in a diverse range of school clubs and organizations and served as class president both her junior and senior years. She served as co-chair of the 2022 WHS Homecoming Committee; was a four-year officer of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA); served as an officer for the Spanish Club and Science Club; and was co-captain of the WHS varsity volleyball team.
Luna graduated with a 4.35 GPA and completed seven AP courses, nine Honors Courses, and 18 college credit hours through concurrent enrollment. She was recognized each year of high school on the Superintendent’s Honor Roll and is a member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society. She plans to attend the University of Central Oklahoma in the fall and pursue a career in community leadership, social work or strategic business planning.
Brisch Scholars are academically talented high school seniors with outstanding leadership ability and a commitment to improving the learning environment of the school or positively impacting the community.
In the 32 years since its inception, the Chancellor’s Scholars program has provided scholarships for more than 100 deserving students. Private gifts, including professional honoraria from the current and past chancellors, support the program, which honors not only Brisch but the office of the chancellor and all individuals who serve Oklahoma in that position.