Whitley Esteban


Whitley EstebanAhead of the Class

By Lori Hutzler Eckert

This summer, Emerald Coast Magazine awarded its second annual $500 academic scholarship to Whitley Esteban of Destin. Esteban, who attended Niceville High School, graduated seventh in her class of 567 students with a weighted grade point average of 4.74. While in high school, she balanced her studies with 11 advanced placement classes, was a member of a variety of service and academic clubs, received several academic and social honors, and excelled as an athlete.

This August, Esteban will attend the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, where she plans to study her longtime passion, architecture. The field, in which she interned at two local firms this year, will utilize the 18-year-old’s aptitude for both arts and sciences.

As the private college does not award merit-based funding assistance, Esteban said she is “grateful and honored” to receive the Emerald Coast Magazine scholarship. Esteban, the daughter of Patricia and Mike Hardiman, added that although moving away and attending college carries a great amount of uncertainty, the excitement of moving on to the next step in her life is paramount.

“This is the first time in my life I am actually excited about the end of summer,” Esteban said with a laugh.