Jason Chaves, a senior at Kings Park High School, was one of 253 students nationwide named a 2010 Scholar last month by the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation based on academics, school involvement and community leadership.
He will compete March 25 for one of 53 college scholarships worth $20,000 each and 200 college scholarships worth $10,000 each at Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta. The initial pool of applicants was about 80,000 teens, Coca-Cola officials said.
"I didn't have any expectations going in," said Chaves, 17, the only Suffolk student selected. "I just hoped for the best."
Chaves was selected from about 2,200 semifinalists by submitting a second application with transcripts, essays and letters of recommendation. An interview by judges will determine his scholarship amount.
Chaves was a semifinalist in the Intel science competition earlier this year for his research last summer at Stony Brook University involving the composition of computer models used in astrophysics. An Eagle Scout, Chaves is also president of his school's Independent Science Research Program and is on the varsity soccer team. He plans to study physics this fall at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.