Lostine resident Sebastian Hobbs has been named one of 26 Oregon students to win the top National Merit Scholarship award for 2018.
The $2,500 scholarships is awarded by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. and goes to applicants with the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in college.
Panels of high school counselors and college admission officers select based on grades, standardized test scores, difficulty of courses taken, an essay and recommendations from a teacher and their high school.
Sebastian recently graduated early from Enterprise High School and is self-taught in a variety of subjects.
Q. Nature? Nurture? Both? To what do you owe your academic prowess?
A. By nature, I am an inquisitive person, looking for answers when I can’t immediately see them and not taking stock responses without question. My parents further encouraged me by requiring that I make good grades throughout school, and my teachers encouraged me to keep my eyes on the possibilities around me.
Q. You grew near Lostine and attended school in Enterprise. What avenues did you use beyond the traditional to further your education?
A. In addition to utilizing the resources of the school and public libraries, I spent a lot of time perusing my family’s collection of books and searching the Internet for interesting articles and free courses. Khanacademy and YouTube in particular were full of things I wanted to learn about.
Q. How did you become interested in community theatre? Do you plan to continue hitting the boards in college?
A. When I began performing in community theatre, I did it as a family activity. My mother would organize us and our whole family would participate. After awhile, it grew on me. I hope to continue performing in college, for the fun of it.
Q. What are your plans for college? Major? How did you select that particular college?
A. I’m planning to attend the University of Oregon this fall, and to attend the Clark Honors College within the university. My major is undecided, but I’m currently leaning toward chemistry. University of Oregon appealed to me as a beautiful campus with vast resources with an engaging student body.
Q. Tell us about someone who has been instrumental in helping along your education path?
A. Throughout my education, my mother has consistently challenged and supported me in equal measure, holding me to higher standards than I might otherwise pursue and helping me to make mature decisions. She has always been there to help me develop into the person I am today.