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Hurst wins prestigious Bryant-Jordan Scholarship

DEMOPOLIS &8212;Jamey Hurst is a teenager who wears many hats: athlete, scholar, actor, big brother and son. But just one conversation with the Demopolis High School senior shows all these roles are just a fraction of the promising life he has already begun to chart at his young age.

On April 14, a few of Hurst&8217;s facets collided when attended the Bryant-Jordan awards banquet, where he was just one of eight other scholar athletes in the 5A region nominated for the prestigious award. His distinction was made possible by the nomination of DHS principal Dr. Isaac Espy.

Espy said he first nominated Hurst for his high grade point average, ACT score and class rank, but there is much more to Espy&8217;s recognition.

Hurst started his athletic career at the high school playing soccer, but more recently he has begun to compete in marathons. The idea to compete in his first marathon, the Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham, was one that came at the suggestion of Espy.

Espy, who also trains for and competes in marathons, said that particular day was one of the best races of his life. He ended up doing significantly better than Hurst.

When asked about Espy&8217;s nomination, Hurst was humble, a mannerism that is complemented by his welcoming smile.

And he certainly has a lot for which to be proud.

In addition to training for marathons, a practice he an his father Harris undertake together, Hurst tutors in the afternoons, teaches guitar lessons and even finds time to pitch in with the school&8217;s drama department. The set of the most recent production of Seussical the Musical was made almost entirely by Hurst.

His mother, Tracie, describes him as an individual among the crowd, a characteristic he has had since he was very young.

After spending his 10th grade year at the Alabama School of Math and Science in Mobile, Tracie said her son was exposed to some eye-opening methods of learning, something that seemed to fit in perfectly with his personality.

And although he will always have a tendency to question the status quo, she said &8220;He will always stand up for what is right.&8221;

This is something his siblings Jennie, Mac and Amelia can learn from.

Hurst recently learned he is a salutatorian for the Class of 2008, and will beginning his studies at Ole Miss this summer. The program he is entering, sponsored by the Croft Institute of International Studies, will allow him to pursue East Asian Studies degree with a concentration in global economics. His program will be an intense submersion of Chinese culture starting with learning Mandarin this summer. Every summer following, he will spend in China working directly in the field.