These Brentwood Students Are in a Class of Their Own

Attending college this fall was never in question for Nicole Coates. As a member of the Brentwood High School graduating Class of 2011, the 18-year-old is one of 67 of the 69 graduates entering college this fall. 

“I definitely knew I’d be going to college. It’s expected of our generation,” she said. “I looked at a few schools, but it came down to distance and financial reasons.”

Coates, the daughter of Tom and Tracy Coates, will be attending the University of Missouri in Columbia, where an older sister is a student. She also has a younger sister at BHS.

(See more on Patch: Brentwood Class of 2011 By the Numbers)

Known for working hard both in and outside of school to help out her family, Coates saw the rewards of this work through a number of scholarships.

“Getting the scholarships made a real difference, and I am very grateful,” she said. “I didn’t want to put the burden on my parents. The scholarships are going to help make my freshman year a little less stressful.”

Coates, like many of her classmates, sought a number of local scholarships and was the recipient of several. Her awards ranged from $1,000 to $7,500 from such organizations as the BHS Alumni Association, West Community Credit Union, Brentwood Chamber of Commerce and the College Club of St. Louis.

The College Club scholarship is awarded to area female public high school students each year. Since 1906, the group has awarded more than $1.7 million to students.

“I applied for the College Club scholarship and had a face-to-face interview with several different women,” she said. “I was invited to a luncheon, where I met the founder of Parents as Teachers, and that is when I found out how much the scholarship was for — it was my largest scholarship for $7,500.”

The Class of 2011 collectively earned $3.5 million in scholarships this year – that’s more than $50,000 per student on average.

“I’ve always been a strong student, and grades have always been important to me,” Coates said. “I would tell students in high school right now to take their classes seriously every year.” 

Coates, who worked during the school year at Control Devices and now works for Hatch Marketing in the call center, is undecided about her college major. Her interests include photography, journalism and possibly education.

“I took a civics rights and responsibilities class this year where I got to help in Ms. Bartoni’s kindergarten class at Mark Twain, and I loved working with the kids,” she said. “Ms. Bartoni was my first-grade teacher so it was nice to go back. I really wanted to see the kindergarteners succeed.”

After great success in both academics and a variety of activities at school and in the community, Coates said she will miss Brentwood but is excited about what the future will bring.

So is her fellow graduate Ryan Marshall, 18, another recipient of several local scholarships thanks to his successful high school career.

Marshall is the son of Mike and Wendy Marshall and has a brother at BHS. He is heading to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville in August, where he’d like to double major in political science and business finance.

After his dad, a Brentwood alderman, had a serious health scare earlier this year, Marshall said earning scholarships became even more important. 

“I wanted to do this to help my parents out,” he said. “My dad was sick when I was applying for scholarships at the same time, so I was extra motivated.”

Marshall is the recipient of several scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,500 from organizations like the BHS PTO, BHS Alumni Association and Mr. and Mrs. Ned Wicks.

“I appreciate the scholarship money,” he said. “It will definitely help.”

Marshall had an impressive high school career in academics, volunteer and extracurricular activities and sports. He was also named a St. Louis Post-Dispatch 2011 Scholar Athlete and has earned the rank of Eagle Scout. 

“I’m really excited about going to college, not really nervous, but maybe a little anxious,” he said. “Brentwood High School was a great experience and helped prepare me. I would tell students to stay focused and realize that your grades, especially from freshman and sophomore year, really can make a difference.”

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These Brentwood Students Are in a Class of Their Own The Brentwood High School graduating Class of 2011 finds scholarship rewards through hard work.
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