MURRAY — A Calloway County Middle School student has already gotten one part of her college career squared away, as she was awarded full tuition to the University of Kentucky through a recent MathCOUNTS competition.
CCMS eighth-grade student Kadience Brian competed alongside other members of the CCMS MathCOUNTS team in a regional competition on Feb. 23. There, the team overall earned the title of runner-up, but Brian was named the overall champion of the tournament.
“I have worked so hard to achieve this accomplishment. I have studied for hours every night, and I owe all of it to my wonderful coaches, Scott Pile and Dan Thompson,” Brian said. “They have taught me everything, and they have taught me that working hard can get you a lot of things. This scholarship is everything that I have ever hoped for. I have always planned on going to college, but I never thought that I would get a full tuition paid scholarship to UK. I will take my opportunity and go to college at the University of Kentucky.”
CCMS MathCOUNTS coach Scott Pile explained that the MathCOUNTS program is one of the few in which the school’s academic team participates that offer such prizes. He also said that Brian was one of 12 other students in the state who received similar scholarships through regional competitions.
“Not many of the competitions we do have scholarships as awards,” Pile said. “We do have competitions that can lead to some cash prizes, but nothing like this.”
Pile said that at the regional level, Western Kentucky University and UK are offering students some manner of scholarship. Pile said Brian would be receiving four years tuition paid for at UK, and that at the state level, other universities such as the University of Louisville come into play.
Pile said it has been impressive to watch Brian’s progress from the time she first joined the team in sixth grade. He said that in that time, he has watched her grow into a more confident version of herself, and a testament to what having faith in one’s self can accomplish.
“She started going at it this year and math is what she does; that is her thing,” Pile said. “The last two or three months, I couldn’t keep enough practice and study material in her hands to keep her happy. I have had some really cool experiences coaching this team, but this ranks up there. You see someone that says they can’t in sixth grade and by the time they get to eighth grade, they believe in themselves, and the work ethic that she put in was unbelievable. And she did it.
“This is the kind of thing that propels kids forward.”