SKOWHEGAN — Anna Marshall wants to change the world.

The Skowhegan Area High School senior from Norridgewock hopes a $10,000 scholarship for environmental studies at college as a 2012 Coca-Cola Scholar will help her do just that.

Marshall, 18, and 252 other high school students attended the Coca-Cola Scholars Weekend in April in Atlanta, and got to meet Academy Award winning actor Morgan Freeman, who encouraged her in his keynote address.

“He looked at us,” Marshall said, “and he goes ‘I’m actually envious of you guys — you’ve got the whole world ahead. Go out there and change the world.'”

At the scholars weekend she was surrounded by other students who didn’t wonder if they could change the world, they only wondered how each one would chose to do it, she said.

For her part, Marshall said she plans to study environmental science and marine biology and raise awareness about the impact people have on the natural world around them.

She said she will attend Connecticut College, in New London in the fall. With her 4.0 grade point average, Marshall also was accepted at Colby College, Bowdoin College, Wheaton College and The College of William & Mary.

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, a joint effort of Coca-Cola bottlers and the Coca-Cola Co., provides $3.4 million annually in college scholarships to about 1,400 students, according to it’s website. Students were chosen from an initial applicant pool of nearly 84,000 from nearly 23,000 high schools.

She is the daughter of Fred and Sheila Marshall and has played varsity soccer and runs indoor and outdoor track. She teaches skiing in the winter and is involved with the school’s speech and drama team. She also is involved with the National Honor Society and Rotary Club.

“I love life, I love everything about it,” she said. “It’s a really great feeling to feel like my efforts for what I’ve done pays off and especially to be considered among some of the top most brightest, inventive and genuine students in high school.”

Dan Riley, guidance counselor for this year’s seniors, said Marshall is a “wonderful young lady who smiles and giggles a lot and says ‘thank you’ a lot.”

“One of the things I would say about Anna is her perseverance,” Riley said. “She’s very humble, she’s very inquisitive. She’s worked hard. Even though she has had two very successful siblings, which is hard to follow, she has done a great job at being herself.”

Skowhegan High School social studies teacher Bill Laney, who taught Marshall in honors geography and advance placement U.S. history, said Marshall deserves the Coca-Cola scholarship.

“She’s a great student — inquisitive, great work ethic, enthusiastic, positive, really fun to have in class, easy to talk with, helpful and relates well with other students,” Laney said. “I think she’ll really thrive at the college level.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

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