Andrew Dorrance and Heather Mutch, both 17, were over the moon to be selected as the 17/18 Syracuse scholars.
The pair, who were up against four others, will enjoyayear’s scholarship to Syracuse University in New York state, jetting off in the autumn.
Lockerbie lad Andrew has grown up knowing the tragic events of December 21 1988 and the purpose of the scholarship — to heal and unite two places torn apart by tragedy.
And this autumn will not be the first time that Andrew has graced the halls of Syracuse University.
In 2012 his older sister Claire was selected as a scholar and spent a year studying abroad, with Andrew and family visiting the university, frequently referred to as ‘Cuse’.
But his link with the longstanding scholarship did nothing to quell his nerves while he waited to hear if he had been selected.
Speaking just after the announcement, Andrew said: “I was stunned, speechless. I’m still struggling to put it in to words but I’m so happy.
“Taking part in the process has been an exciting journey for us all and everyone who applied for the scholarship deserved to get it.
“There was not a single undeserving person, which makes me even more honoured to be selected.”
And the teen, who harbours ambitions of a career in finance and marketing, hopes to make the most of SU’s business school in the fall. Meanwhile, Heather, who lives in Tundergarth, was overjoyed to hear her name called.
Heather moved from Aberdeenshire to Lockerbie a few years ago and since first hearing about the scholarship sought to learn more about the town’s history.
She said: “I was shocked to be picked. I don’t always think of myself as the most traditionally smart—I’m more of a creative person — and it’s just so wonderful to be given this amazing opportunity.”
Heather added: “The interviews were really nerve wracking but we did them in pairs, which helped in many ways.
“The quality of competition for this was so high and it means so much to be picked. I can’t wait to really get my teeth in to it and make the most of this very exciting opportunity.”