Wayne County fourth grader wins college scholarship

Posted January 10, 2012
Updated January 19, 2012

— Fourth-grader DeQuan Jefferson got a head start on paying for college Tuesday when he was named the winner of a $20,000 scholarship to attend Appalachian State University.

Fourth grader: Math comes easy Fourth grader: Math comes easy

DeQuan had the highest score on the math achievement test at the end of the third grade out of all minority students in Wayne County Public Schools. DeQuan, who attends North Drive Elementary School, was the 19th Wayne County student to benefit from the fund, established by an anonymous donor to reward minority students do who well on standardized tests.

Should he qualify for admission to App State, he will get $20,000 for his freshman year. If he maintains a 2.5 grade-point average, he can renew the scholarship each year.

DeQuan said math comes easily to him for the most part. 

"Thank Jesus. He gives me all the smarts so I could get a scholarship," he said.

His teacher, LaSonya Brooks, called DeQuan an excellent student. "He always does his work on time. Always comes in with a smile. He's just a joy to teach," she said.

Dr. Steven Taylor, superintendent of the Wayne County Public Schools, said the scholarship helps students stay focused on academic success and begin preparing early for college.

DeQuan already knows that focus is key to his goals. He wants to be a football player, an eye doctor or a dentist.

"Always pay attention in school, and whenever someone tries to get you in trouble or whenever someone tries to distract you, just ignore them and keep working," he says. 


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  • horsyset Jan 23, 2012

    Thanks GoldsborNative, I see that now. WRAL completely revised this story sometime after my first comment was posted and added a lot of information that was missing before.

  • Really8745 Jan 20, 2012

    horsyset.... They do tell us what he did to get this scholarship.... "DeQuan had the highest score on the math achievement test at the end of the third grade out of all minority students in Wayne County Public Schools."

  • horsyset Jan 17, 2012

    I wish WRAL had written this story better and told why this lucky young man was selected to receive the scholarship. Did he accomplish something extraordinary or was it just a random selection from a minority group he happened to be a part of? I wish him well regardless, but would have appreciated more complete reporting.

  • common_sense_plz Jan 17, 2012

    This is AWESOME, It is great to see something like this happening.

  • samanthawood2006 Jan 16, 2012


  • ndzapruder Jan 13, 2012

    Way to go, hon! Remember: a C gets a degree and money for free! Don't you EVER forget that!

  • irishgirlsarepretty Jan 13, 2012

    The scholarship was established by a private donor - they can do whatever they want with their cash and set up the scholarship criteria however they please. Get over it!

    Solarflare40 - you're a male donkeybutt!

    I think it's awesome and OMG he is sooo adorable! Study hard, DeQuan, and enjoy your blessing! God's got a great plan for you, this is just the first step :)

  • North Carolina Cutie Jan 12, 2012


  • awood2 Jan 12, 2012

    congratulations to you and your parents! Keep up the good work!

  • ncgirl4ever Jan 12, 2012