Laguna Blanca School senior Jess Davis has been named a McKenna Scholar and recipient of a renewable $10,000 scholarship ($40,000 total) given to about 20 freshmen entering Claremont McKenna College each year.
Only the top 1 percent of its college applicants are selected for the scholarship competition; Davis was among 50 others who participated in a series of debates that were scored by Claremont McKenna professors.
Davis was also honored with the 2012 Fleischmann Award from the Santa Barbara Foundation for demonstrating exceptional academic performance and commitment to community service. She will receive a $2,000 award and an additional $500 to be donated to the nonprofit organization of her choice.
On campus, Davis is best known for her work with Everybody Dance Now!, a youth-run nonprofit organization that provides free, weekly dance programming to young people throughout the country who would otherwise not have access to such opportunities.
A dancer since age 4, Davis started working with Everybody Dance Now! in 2009 when she was recruited as a leader-in-training for the organization’s flagship chapter in Santa Barbara. She quickly moved up through the ranks to executive director, and under her leadership, EDN! Santa Barbara expanded its number of weekly classes from eight to 17, increased its junior high programming by 300 percent and doubled the size of its leadership team.
In her spare time, Davis is the editor-in-chief of Laguna Blanca’s nationally recognized newspaper, The Fourth Estate. She is also a prosecution lawyer on the school’s Mock Trial Team and a 2012 Cum Laude recipient. She will attend Claremont McKenna College in the fall.
— Tara Broucqsault is the director of communications for Laguna Blanca School.