By Ivy Lam
Throughout the entirety of high school, certain individuals strive to succeed within their academics. At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, six seniors have been named National Merit Finalists, a prestigious title held by high-achievers.
These students include Jordyn Addesso, Tobiah Bower, Daria Leonova, Sarah Mohammed, Ian Walsh, and Christine Yared. These individuals had some of the highest PSAT scores in the entire country this year.
Every National Merit Finalist receives a $2,500 single-payment scholarship.
Whether it be doing homework early or partaking in multiple extracurriculars, these students have worked diligently through the years. After hearing about their new National Merit Finalist status, these select seniors were very relieved and excited.
“I was really honored to become a National Merit Finalist,” said senior Christine Yared. “It was a nice affirmation to receive while waiting for college decisions.”
Not only is this title nice to have, it helps these seniors with topics such as applying to clubs, organizations, or internships in the future. It is also a valid and impressive accomplishment to include on one’s resume for later job applications.
“When I received the news about my status as a National Merit Finalist, I was incredibly excited,” said senior Ian Walsh. “This accomplishment will hopefully not only allow me to earn a merit scholarship that I can use to help pay for my college education but also serve as a resume-builder for my future.”
The National Merit Scholarship Program has seen approximately 1.5 million high school students across the country enter the program every year. Applicants have to meet specific requirements and fill out a thorough application to even qualify as a Semifinalist. Only around 15,000 Semifinalists are then promoted to a Finalist status, which is announced in February.
“I think all the hard work I did throughout high school helped me become a finalist,” said Yared. “I’ve always made sure to balance my grades and extracurriculars to make sure I’ll have success after high school.”
Winners are selected based on their abilities, achievements, and skills. Multiple components are factored in when selecting the ultimate winners, such as recommendation letters and personal essays.
“I think it was my essay that got me the title because it gives the most insight to me as a person,” said senior Tobiah Bower. “Statistics are great, but in the end, you can’t represent a person with a number.”
MSD seniors will continue to achieve more as the 2020-21 school year gradually comes to an end. In the upcoming days, these soon-to-be graduates will be looking forward to opening their college decision letters and experiencing what life is like after high school.
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- Ivy Lam is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This school year, she is an officer in DECA, Newspaper, and HOSA. Her favorite pastimes include reading, writing, and watching sunsets.
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