All About the Children

Bradenton student wins 2016 Mensa scholarship

Nicole Hittel

An 18-year-old Bradenton resident was recently named one of the 2016 Mensa Scholarship winners.

Nicole Hittel, a student at University of Florida, was awarded the scholarship, which is based off an essay entry. The Mensa Foundation awards more than $87,000 in scholarships each year. Awards are based on essays written by the applicants. Consideration is not given to grades, academic program or financial need.

Essays are judged at the local level on content, grammar, organization and craftsmanship, according to organizers. The best local essays are referred to the regional level to be judged a second time. Regional judges rank the local winners and nominate the best essays for regional and national awards. A final round of judging by the National Scholarship Chairs selects the regional and national winners. The list of scholarship winners is presented to the Mensa Foundation Board of Trustees, which certifies the winners.

Born in Wuxi, China, Nicole celebrated her first birthday on an airplane on her way to the United States with her new mother, Susan.

Hittel plans to attain her degree in political science by age 20 and continue to law school.

The application process opens Sept. 15, 2016, and closes Jan. 15, 2017. Information is at

Meghin Delaney: 941-745-7081, @MeghinDelaney