Brian Chilson
WINNERS: All-stars at awards ceremony.

ICYMI: It’s not too late to read last month’s cover story on the 2019 Arkansas Times Academic All-Star Team, the 25th edition of an annual recognition of 20 senior high school students for academic and extra-curricular achievement. We presented them with plaques and checks today at UA Little Rock’s new downtown space (home to the stunning Joe Jones mural.)

I heard amazing stories from all over the state — a Syrian refugee camp volunteer, a student of plant genetics, an entrepreneur. Editor Lindsey Millar also passed along some progress reports of past winners — teachers, doctors, researchers, lawyers from Austin, Texas, to Abu Dhabi.

I take some pride of authorship for beginning the program, sustained all these years by UA Little Rock’s generous support. We’ve passed out $125,000 in checks and I’ve shaken hands with many a parent who appreciated the rare academic honors program amid all the athletic all-star teams. Many of our winners are athletes, too, by the way.

All couldn’t make today’s event. Some are in final college visits. But it was an inspiring meeting of great minds.

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