He was selected as the award winner from nearly 10,000 applicants in a process which began with the application in October 2021 and concluded with the Loveland High School (LHS) junior being named the winner during the award Gala in Washington D. C. the last full weekend of April. Yes, you read it right; Evan Osgood is only a junior at LHS. Oh, but what he has accomplished in three short years of high school.
“We are incredibly proud of Evan for receiving this honor,” said Loveland Schools Superintendent Mike Broadwater. “He is truly a remarkable young man.”
Remarkable may be an understatement. He entered LHS as a freshman in the midst of the COVID pandemic and went right to work creating his nonprofit organization SOSforPPE making and shipping protective equipment all across the country during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Osgood also created STEMsForYouth as a nonprofit organization to improve access to STEM education for all students. The National Honor Society (NHS) has recognized him for those efforts. It all led to Evan Osgood being recognized nationally as the single individual winner of the NHS Scholarship award from close to 10,000 other student applicants.
“It was a full application process which had you describe your service projects and the four pillars of the NHS so to speak,” said Osgood. “It was super-long detailed information there. Then they picked me as a semi-finalist and then finalist which was a big jump down to 25 finalists.”
Osgood explained the application process required a lot of description of the different projects he has done. He was asked to define the impact they had in alignment with the NHS values/four pillars. He had to write a prompt-based personal essay on how the NHS four pillars (Scholarship, Responsibility, Service and Leadership) shaped his personal high school journey and how they will continue to shape his college experience and life beyond. He focused his essay on the experience of starting up the SOSforPPE and working with the local NHS chapter incorporating volunteers noting they made about 3,000 PPE’s. That carried him through the first jump into the pool of approximately 700 semi-finalists.
“That was still quite a cut from the 10,000 who applied,” Osgood said.
He had no idea the number of original applicants when he received email notification he had made the semifinalist list. Only later did Osgood learn it was closer to 10,000 people.
“I had no idea how many people had applied,” said Osgood. “It could have been several hundred. I didn’t even realize there was an option for the D.C. weekend or the monetary amount. I was expecting $5,000 at most for being a finalist.”
There was still more to come. He remembers the family was driving to the airport for a trip to visit his brother and sister in New York when he learned more.
“I saw the email on my phone,” Osgood said. “I was like holy crap, look at this. This was for finalist. Five grand for being a finalist and the trip to D.C. which I didn’t even know existed to that point; a very exciting email.”
That was the big one and Evan was in the car with his mom and dad driving to CVG airport. He won $5,000 for being a finalist. With all the other applicants, Osgood did not expect to have a chance to win that. All the finalists were awarded a trip to Washington D.C. together. Who went?
“It was the finalists and their NHS advisors,” said Osgood. “No parents were allowed at all. They bring in all the staff that were involved in the scholarship organization; NHS and their parent company.”
Miss Megan Shelley was Evan’s advisor. She could not make the trip to D.C. with him. The LHS principal attended in her place.
“I was sad she couldn’t be there at the weekend. She had a wedding she had to go to,” Osgood said. “Mr. Reed attended instead. It was a very fun weekend for the two of us.”
It was four days. Osgood said the first day was meeting all the other finalists with their advisors. He described it as “fun way to meet the people and get to know them.” They visited the monuments, other D.C. landmarks and saw the Lincoln Memorial by moonlight.
“The first day was the most fun because it was meeting these complete strangers you’ve never met before,” he said. “Clicking that fast. They went from complete strangers to having lunch together, visiting the monuments, and at the end of the day we ended up working out together. It was like a little social event. It was really a fun day.”
Yes, they literally worked out with weights in the hotel gym. The last thing any of us would have expected, but a highlight and lasting memory for Evan Osgood.
“The people were awesome,” Osgood said. “It was all about connecting.”
He was connecting with people from all around the country, but Osgood was the only finalist from the State of Ohio. Still, he made fast friends and found a group of “fun people to hang out with” right away. He tells the story of how they came together at the first lunch, just picking a table to join in and then turning introductions into a game trying to intercept the squeeze ball being passed around to determine who was talking and who was introducing. It was fun for him right away. He plans to stay in touch with his newfound friends.
The 25 finalists included a fairly even mix of both young women and young men. Osgood says there may have been a couple more girls than guys. He spent the first couple days of the weekend getting to know them. They also spent time with staff who likely already knew the winners, but kept the secret leading up to the gala on Monday evening when the results would be revealed. The group still enjoyed some special activities during the day Monday.
“We started the day off at the Department of Education,” said Osgood. “We got to meet the Secretary of Education over there Miguel Cardona. He gave a nice speech and shook hands. It was fun. We actually had a big round table discussion.”
Evan was in a group with the President of NHS where he enjoyed a “really good conversation”. It was not by chance. Each student was asked to fill out an interest survey with different topics. He chose student development. They talked a lot about student mental health. The thing that stood out for Evan during the discussion was how they were in unison about the challenges they face and potential solutions. He expected to hear more differences and was surprised to hear the same challenges facing educators all across the country. There was a lot of discussion on how to support teachers in their efforts to impact the students more and spend less time with administrative duties. Then it was time to get ready for the gala awards banquet.
“It was straight back to the hotel get ready all fancy suit and tie, hop on the shuttle head over to the gala,” Osgood said. “It was a full room, chandeliers, podiums, a band playing in the corner. It was very fancy upscale; definitely the most formal dinner I’ve been to in my life.”
Dinner was a three course meal with salad, filet mignon with side of mashed potatoes and a crab cake. Osgood says the food was good, but it was a long night with a lot of presenters speaking throughout the evening. Many of the National Honor Society staff talked about their experience and fun things they’ve been doing.
“They did a nice little presentation of each finalist they pre-recorded without telling us a video of the principal and the advisor saying some nice stuff,” said Osgood. “It was actually Mrs. Shelley, Mr. Reed and Mrs. Hamilton who is my guidance counselor. I had no idea. It was a really sweet message all about the helpfulness and positivity; some of the stuff I did with the school and the district. It was a nice support message.”
Osgood noted how nice it was since the kids didn’t know about it. The impact was emotional with a lot of the people holding back tears. It left him comfortable with the relationships he built with not just his student peers, but also school administrators with whom he can have conversations. After all that – about three hours of presentations – they still did not know who the winner would be. The anticipation continued.
“People were getting antsy for it,” Osgood said. “They brought in last year’s winner to give a speech about her experience. They announced they changed it up a bit adding a couple different awards.”
Osgood had a front row seat as they announced an additional award for each of the four pillars: Scholarship, Responsibility, Service and Leadership. The winners received an additional $5,000 if they won one of the pillar awards. He recalled sitting there thinking he might win one of those; maybe the service award, not even thinking he might win the big one. Then they called the four names of the four people who won. He says a lot of people were “going nuts”. Still unsuspecting, Evan began thinking that would have been nice, but. . .
They began the announcement of the big winner in dramatic fashion Osgood explained. They started out describing small projects the winner had done. The kind only the winner would know he or she had done them. WATCH HERE (The NHS video from the Gala in Washington D.C.)
“I knew right away from the first sentence,” said Osgood. “It was something about the Tiger Bash and I thought: ‘OH man, that’s me!’ Then they got to my SOSforPPE or my STEMSforYouth and everybody kind of turns to you and knows that it’s you. It was really a fun experience.”
Evan Osgood was the big winner being named the recipient of the $25,000 NHS Scholarship award for 2022. He was front and center as he took the stage to shake hands and accept the award from Ronn Nozoe, CEO National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) – the same man he spent time with throughout the four day Washington D.C. weekend.
“His dedication to others, along with his hard work, will take him on to great things,” said Superintendent Mike Broadwater. “Congratulations to the entire Osgood family on this accomplishment.”
It was the culmination of many accomplishments in a three year high school career that has led directly to early graduation for the Loveland High School junior. He is graduating. What’s next?
“I’m on the Harvard wait list,” Osgood said. “If I get that one, I’d be pretty excited. Hoping. I have a pool of six wait lists. . . so it is Harvard, Dartmouth, Cal Tech, John Hopkins and Cornell. I plan to study computer science. An ideal career path would be get a CS degree, go somewhere in the industry and eventually somewhere down the line start a company and have some fun.”