A Harrison County student is a recipient of a $25,000 national scholarship.
Liberty High School senior Destiny Lusk has won the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. Scholarship, which goes to a handful of students who have overcome adversity.
“I knew I’ve had a pretty tough life, tougher than most others,” Lusk said, “It kinda just seemed fitting to give it a shot.”
Lusk is just one of 106 students in North America to win the scholarship and the only one from West Virginia.
Growing up, Destiny and her three younger siblings were bounced around to different homes between Bluefield and Clarksburg, sometimes living without water and electricity. She and her siblings lost their father in 2014.
“It was traumatizing for me because I’m getting ripped out,” Lusk said. I had no idea, I had to pack up. My mom was drunk. She was angry because I didn’t want to leave, and we had to drive up here. I had never really driven with her because we didn’t have a car.”
But through despair came hope for Destiny.
“Since moving to Clarksburg, I’ve had so many teachers just genuinely care about me and care if I have food, and care if I have clean clothes, care if I have Christmas presents,” Lusk said. “From eighth grade on, I’ve been with three different teachers, and they’ve been there for me. They’ve provided me their time and their love, which I wasn’t used to getting, and I’m still getting used to that.”
Students and faculty at Liberty High School say Destiny’s contagious smile, along with her ability to lead by example, will have a lasting impact on those who meet her.
“The students, they love Destiny,” principal Pamela Knight said. “And I think that was shown when she was elected student body president. And she has that kindness and compassion for everyone she comes in contact with.”
Destiny will begin classes at Fairmont State this fall, and she will major in pre-nursing. She is currently living with her softball coach, and Destiny says her siblings are being well taken care of by their grandparents in Bluefield.
“There is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Lusk said. “For 18 years I’ve asked myself, I’ve asked God, ‘Why me? Why is this happening to me and my family?’ And I may never know the answer to that. but Horatio Alger may just be that answer.”