Communications & Government Relations

Hernando County's 2021 Sunshine State Scholar

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Hernando High Junior Misa Viveiros named Hernando County's 2021 Sunshine State Scholar

JANUARY 22, 2021 -Misa Viveiros was always interested in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), having participated in many science fairs and joining the technology club during her elementary and middle school years. In fact, math is her favorite subject.

But the 11th grade Hernando High School student admits she was shocked when she learned her guidance counselor had nominated her for the 2021 Sunshine State Scholar program. She was even more surprised to learn she won.

Misa has been named Hernando County’s Sunshine State Scholar for 2021. She will be part of an elite group of only 103 11th grade STEM scholars from throughout Florida selected to participate in the Sunshine State Scholars program April 8-9 in Orlando. “I had no idea I was nominated until (the guidance office) called me for more information,” Misa said. “I was surprised and happy!”

It is no easy feat to be a Sunshine State Scholar. In fact, the eligibility criteria is quite tough. Among some of the qualifications include a weighted grade point average of 3.9 or higher, consistent scores of Level 4 or 5 mathematics and science end-of-course assessments, and scoring well on statewide assessments (1300 or higher on SAT or 30 or higher on ACT).

The Sunshine State Scholars program is a collaboration among the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Education Foundation, the Florida College System, the State University System of Florida and The Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida. Each Florida school district selects their top 11th grade student in science, technology, engineering and math. The scholars, along with their parents, convene for the two-day program to not only receive recognition for their achievements, but to participate in a tough “think tank” problem-solving activity. “I really think it will be a valuable experience,” Misa said. “You don’t really get STEM experiences like this and I am looking forward to being exposed to different options and pathways.”

Misa is planning to continue her STEM passion after high school and pursue a degree in civil engineering. She is hoping to go to Florida State University, where she can not only follow a path in engineering, but also continue her other passion – music!

Misa is not only academically talented, but she is also a gifted musician. She is skilled on the trumpet, piano and harp, and currently plays trumpet for the Hernando High School Royale Regiment Band. She was recently selected to the 2021 Florida All-State 11th and 12th Grade Symphonic Orchestra and recognized as one of the top three trumpeters in the state of Florida. In fact, this is her fifth consecutive year of being selected to All-States.

“I am super excited to hear that Misa is this year's Sunshine State Scholar representative for Hernando County,” said Carrie Piechowicz, the guidance counselor who nominated Misa. “Misa is truly a one-of -a-kind student who excels in her academics in addition to being musically inclined,” Piechowicz said. “She is a true go-getter who puts her all into anything she is doing, whether it be academics, band, or tutoring through National Honor Society. I could not be more proud of her for this amazing achievement! She is destined to do great things and I was honored to recommend her.”

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