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Local student becomes Rhodes Scholar

ATLANTA -- One Atlanta native has been chosen for the world's most prestigious scholarship.

Elizabeth Allan of Westminster and The University of Georgia will attend England's Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

The 22 year old is one of 32 recipients in the United States. Elizabeth will pursue a master's in Middle Eastern studies.

So how do you raise a kid like this? DNA helps. And encouragement the Allans tell me.

Stimulate their brains with knowledge and love.

Dreams are good too.

" My dream job would be in the State Department directing Middle Eastern policy, " Elizabeth Allan said.

Her parents are proud.

Father John, UGA, a Midtown tax attorney

Mother Juliet, UVA, high school Dean of Instructional Technology at Westminster.

Jeff Hullinger: "At what point did you know Elizabeth was gifted?"

John Allan: "I just knew early on. I can't put my finger on it. Juliet would probably point toward something in preschool."

Juliet Allan: "When she first went to preschool at about 18 months old, we walked in. It was normal to me that an 18 month old could put the United States puzzle together with all the pieces in the right places because that's what my baby did and she was my first baby."

Jeff Hullinger: "How do you keep them focused?

John Allan: "It's really about helping the kids do the things they like doing and encouraging them and also be an example, we read a lot."

Elizabeth Allan: "I always did things I was interested in. I'm the kind of person who likes to study and learn new things.

Juliet Allan: "We tried not to make a big deal out of it really. It's what she did well at it."

Jeff Hullinger: "How about the family interaction? How is family life with her two brothers?

Juliet Allan: "You want to treat them in the same way, in the same environment. We wanted to encourage her gifts, but encourage our boys' gifts as well. "

John Allan: "I'll tell you we are proud of all of our kids. They have been successful in their own way. We have always encouraged them to do what they wanted to do, not what we wanted them to do."

Elizabeth Allan: "All of us turned out differently. I am the one who likes to study. George is at Virginia Military Institute, and Joseph is an extremely talented musician."

Next month Elizabeth will graduate from UGA. She will have degrees in economics, international affairs, and Arabic along with a master's degree in international policy. She hopes to work for the Carter Center in the months ahead.

The family credits the honors program at UGA and the foundation fellowship thus giving a community of scholars that has made all of this possible.

Good parenting helps too.

Georgia Tech also has a Rhodes Scholarship winner: Joy A. Buolamwini of Cordova, Tennessee.