GOOD NEWS: North grad wins scholarship from cable network

A North Gwinnett graduate and Georgia Tech student recently received a $10,000 scholarship and appeared on a hit cable television show.

Craig Owenby graduated from North this year and won the grand prize out of five award-winners from the USA Network as part of a “Burn Notice Science Challenge” after he created a laser communications device that uses fluctuating brightness and electrical pulses to audibly transmit messages from more than 100 feet away and around a wall.

Owenby was recognized on-air last week in a “Burn Notice” episode that featured actor Bruce Campbell.

In the contest, high school students were asked to design a safe and exciting spy challenge that characters of “Burn Notice.” Twenty-five finalists were selected to create a video that demonstrates their proposed solutions to the challenge. The challenge was designed to encourage learning in science, technology, engineering and math.

Each entry was judged on its scientific merits, as well as the quality and execution of the demonstration by a panel of teachers and Burn Notice writers and producers.

“I was blown away by all the creative, clever entries we received, these are some seriously brilliant kids,” said Matt Nix, creator and executive producer of “Burn Notice,” in a press release. “STEM has always been a passion of mine, and I’m thrilled we were able to give these students a chance to demonstrate their talents in this area.”

The advisers to the winning entries also receive grants to support their professional development.

Fraternity awards scholarships

Five Gwinnett students recently received scholarships for their post-secondary education from the Lawrenceville-Duluth Alumni Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

The recipients were Christopher Powell of Brookwood High, Babatunde Hambolu of Collins Hill High, Nia Hampton of Parkview High, Olawafunmike Oluwadamilola Abisoye of Grayson High and Jordan Harrison of North Gwinnett High.

Their high school counselors nominated them based on criteria that included academic excellence, leadership, co-curricular activities and community service. They were selected from a pool of 40 applicants and received $1,000.

To apply, the students submitted a one-page essay on their college and career aspirations, and community members or teachers wrote reference letters.

The LDAC Foundation was established in 2011 as a 501(c)(3) independent charitable extension of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. Its purpose is to contribute to the advancement and improvements of the quality of life for Gwinnett citizens.

Dion Jones of the LDAC Foundation said its scholarship goal for the upcoming year is $20,000.

Keith Farner writes about education. Good News from Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Daily Post.