O'Neal Kodzai Park Scholar

The prestigious Park Scholarships program at North Carolina State University has named O’Neal Senior Niasha Kodzai to its Class of 2024. 

Forty scholars were selected among 2,136 candidates not only from North Carolina, but across the nation and abroad. These exceptional students were selected based on outstanding accomplishments and potential in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service and character presented in interviews and assessments before a selection committee made up of NCSU faculty members and alumni. The Park Scholarship is a four-year scholarship currently valued at approximately $111,000 for in-state students and $205,000 for out-of-state students. The award covers tuition, fees and room and board at NCSU. 

Niasha Elise Kodzai is the only candidate from Moore County selected as a finalist. She is the daughter of Drs. William and Za’Vette Kodzai of Southern Pines. A part of the O’Neal School Class of 2020, Niasha is a founding member and current president of the Women’s Empowerment Club and president of the Diversity Club. She is in her fourteenth year of ballet and is currently a senior member of the Carolina Performing Arts Center’s Youth Ballet Senior Company. Niasha has also volunteered as a music camp counselor for the past six years, is a member of O’Neal’s Cum Laude Society, and was awarded the Central Carolinas Phi Beta Kappa Associations’ Voit Gilmore Outstanding Senior Student Book Award. Niasha plans to double major in industrial design and psychology.  

“Niasha is so much more than a list of accomplishments,” says Upper School Head Matt Jacobs. “It is hard to describe in words all she does and all she means to the Upper School. The power of positivity, selflessness, and true kindness flow from Niasha. She is a shining example of what we hope all O’Neal students to be.” 

The Park Scholarships program seeks to develop and support Park Scholars in the areas for scholarship, leadership, service and character preparing them for lifelong contributions to the campus, state, nation and world.

Courtesy photo: Class of 2024 Parks Scholar and O’Neal Senior Niasha Kodzai has been conducting an independent study combining the research of psychology and industrial design to create a writing utensil to replace fidget toys. Such items help to improve concentration and attention to tasks as well as manage stress for people who may have ADD/ADHD, anxiety or even autism.  

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