Breaking News
More () »


Abigail Twiss shoots for the stars, wins SOAR Scholarship and heads into male-dominated industry

This SOAR Scholarship winner is shooting for the stars … (almost literally)

ABINGDON, Illinois - As the seniors at Abingdon-Avon High School prepare to march into the next chapter, there is one student who is shooting for the stars.

Abigail Twiss is 2019's first SOAR Scholarship Winner. The Soar Scholarship is awarded to students who show strength, optimism, achievement, and resolve during their high school years.

The $5,000 is part of an 8-year partnership with WQAD News 8 and The Sedona Group.

Twiss is on a mission with intention and has made quite the impact during her time in high school.

"I did student council, track and field, Scholastic Bowl, student government and National Honor Society," Twiss said in an interview at her graduation rehearsal on May 17.

Now she is heading to Arizona State University, to become one of the few females in the world to study Aerospace Engineering.

"Aerospace engineering allows you to really show a difference, make a difference. Especially with planes and travel," said Twiss.

Shooting for the stars has been a challenge for Twiss.

It has been a long few years as she gets ready to blast off.

Her parents adopted her in China before bringing her home to Abingdon. At home, her parents went through a divorce during a very difficult time.

"My father had cancer at that time. He had Melanoma," she said.

Even though times were tough, Abigail's mother said she handled it with resolve.

"She`s got that drive, that want to do something to better the world. And she is just able, with her intelligence, to channel it in this method of Areospace engineering," said Jean Twiss.

Now, Abigail is ready for her next mission. College!

"The $5,000 (soar scholarship) means I will have to worry a little less," Abigail said.

And as she prepares to head to collage, there are some words from mom as well.

"Just keep on keeping on because you know how to do it and I know that you will do a great job in the future and mom is always here and home is always here no matter what," said Jean Twiss.

And just like that, Abigail is ready to soar.