Elliott, a Graves County High School senior, scored a perfect 36 on the math section if the ACT. His composite score is 35. He hasn't rested on his academic laurels, however. Elliott is a member of the concert, marching and pep bands. He also, more recently, got involved in musical theater. The change from playing behind the scenes to being a leading man was interesting, he said.
"It really helps you to be able to put yourself out there," he said. "With public speaking, it really helps with skills like that."
CJ Elliott, son of Jeanna Rogers Elliott and Michael Elliott, is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different MCU Teen of the Week selected from nominees who high school guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois submit to the Sun. Mid-Continent University will provide each Teen of the Week with a $2,500 annual scholarship to its university, which is renewable for four years. In the spring, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners and will receive a full four-year scholarship to Mid-Continent University, currently valued at up to $55,000, or a cash reward of $2,500 paid through the Paducah Sun if the student selects another college to attend.
Elliott gained a few more impressive accolades under his belt. He will interview for a University of Kentucky Singletary Scholarship Monday, and last week he was named one of Kentucky's National Merit finalists. Elliott has the chance to be one of about 8,300 National Merit Scholars from a finalist pool of 15,000.
His mother is one of his main role models. She is intelligent and kind, and he wants to emulate that as he goes on into adult life. Elliott will attend University of Kentucky in the fall to study computer or chemical engineering. If he chooses the latter, he will consider going to medical school.
His experience at the Governor's Scholars Program Bellarmine University campus introduced him to the world of business technology. Elliott embraced the opportunity to get a sneak peak into college life. His travels extend much farther than Louisville. As part of the People to People student ambassadors program, Elliott experienced Europe twice. Of the eight countries he visited, he enjoyed Italy and Greece the best.
Elliott hopes to carry on in theater and music when he becomes a Kentucky Wildcat, but it all depends on his academic schedule. He's done a good job juggling his schedule thus far, and he hope to continue the balancing act in college.
Call Rebecca Feldhaus, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651.