Miss Arkansas Loren McDaniel urged Van Buren High School seniors being honored as Arkansas Scholars to have the confidence to invest in themselves.

"Others have invested in you and had the confidence that you would get to where you are tonight," said McDaniel, a 2011 graduate of VBHS. "Now it is your turn to invest in yourself and in those who had confidence in you."

The reigning Miss Arkansas was the guest speaker at the Tuesday night’s event at the VBHS Commons hosted by the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce Education Committee.

Arkansas Scholars, started by the Arkansas Business and Education Alliance and sponsored by local chambers of commerce, is centered on academic achievement for a broad range of students. The students are asked to meet a set of criteria that will prepare them for both the workplace and additional education after high school.

One of the requirements of the program is a 95 percent attendance record for all four high school academic years.

Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman urged the students to continue on the excellent path that led them to become Arkansas Scholars.

"It is my hope that you will decide to stay in Van Buren and make a contribution here," Freeman said. "But, whatever you decide, make a difference somewhere."

The mayor encouraged the students not to lose sight of their dreams or forget what brought them to become Arkansas Scholars.

"Find the passion to reach your goals," Freeman said. "Bring us together and help us to move forward. Graduation is only a pause in your journey … have the passion to be a life-long learner."

VBHS Principal Eddie Tipon congratulated the students and complimented the parents and teachers for helping them get to where they are.

"As employers, these are the people you need to look at someday to hire," Tipton said. "They have at least a 95 percent attendance rate for four years."

Each scholar was presented with a certificate at the banquet and will be given a medallion to wear at graduation.

This year’s 156 honorees were:

Samantha Allbaugh, Geycel Alvarado Martinez, Catherine Artero Arriola, Michael Barker, Jordan Barlow, Joshua Bender, Caleb Brown, Josie Burnett, Hunter Cady, Jenna Caetano, Ty Callahan, Christopher Campos, Payton Carr, Sidnee Carter, Samantha Chick, Whitney Childers, Madison Chitwood, Ceira Clark, Miriam Claveria, Karla Colocho-Brizuela, Colton Conn, Joshua Coombes, Michalla Corson, Desarae Crawford, Ariane Davidson, Jared Davidson, Abbigail Davis, Brandon Davis, Lauren Delnuovo, Sandra Diaz, Hana Dolanski, Beth Duquette, Matthew Dusha, Christian Dye, Cody Eagle, Hannah Evans, Kallie Evans.

Also, Farrah Fight, Jean Paul Figueroa, Randall Fitzwater, Jaimee Flavier, Christian Flores, Hailey Floyd, Sarah Fouts, Alexa Franklin-Benac, Adam Fudge, Samuel Gallardo, Catherine Gonzalez, Danae Goodwin, Casey Guess, Dalton Hall, Brooklyn Hardcastle, Kaitlyn Harp, Sarah Harrison, Zane Harrison, Karlee Hart, Heathrynn Hartman, Lauren Hill, Logan Hill, Jacob Honeyman, Emily Humphrey, Laura Megan Humphreys, Elizabeth Hutchins, Marlen Ibarra, Megan Irons, Seth Johnson, Alexis Jones, Makayla Jones, Ryan King, Bethany Kirkland, Logan Koprovic.

Also, Loren Lale, Juliann Lamproe, Lyndon Lewis, Preston Liles, Elizabeth Lopez, Kathleen Lopez, Madison Loris, Makayla Luedloff, Mickey Malone, Annalea Mann, Alyssa Marsocci, Jacob Marquis, Bethany Mason, Donald McBride, Casee Meadors, Emilio Medina, Brandy Mendoza, Ashleigh Miller, Noah Miller, Cindy Monterroza, Braydon Montgomery, Katelynn Montgomery, Mary Morales, Hunter Nauman, Madeline Elizabeth Nelson, Jenny Nguyen, Jesse Nichols, Dalton Norris, Kennedy Norwood, Mackenzie Oliver, Mikyla Osman.

Also, David Parker, Mekali Parks, Natisha Patel, Kayla Patton, Matthew Pence, Alexandra Peters, Zara Phonhthydeth, Michael Pickens, Callie Pool, Karen Quijada, Evan Rackley, Haley Rains, Victoria Risley, Alissa Robberson, Charlotte Roberts, Jennifer Rubio, Madeline Salinas, Hayden Salisbury, Veronica Sanabria, Javnett Sandhu, Ashton Sangster, Lydia Shearburn, Kelsey Shockley, Chandler Smith, Katelyn Smith, Skylar Smith, Ashley Spain, Breeana Spangler, Mallory Stephenson, Zac Stobaugh, Allison Sullivan, Bethany Sutterfield.

And, Andrew Taylor, Makinzee Thomas, Kory Thongkham, Haley Titsworth, Kaitlin Tolbert, Taylor Tounzen, Sydnee Trammell, Hayley Trejo, Taylor Turner, Manuel Valente, Mildred Verdin, Jasmin Vorabouth, Kyle Walter, Kendra Grace Weifenbach, Madison Weir, Kaitlyn White, Katjana Wiederkehr, Chassity Yarbrough, Jordan Yerby and Julie Zuspann.