Published On: Wed, Jun 22nd, 2016

Boca, Delray Seniors Among National Merit Scholars

By CRA News Service                                                                          

Boca Raton can boast five new National Merit Scholarship Corporation winners, following a recent announcement by the prestigious program.

They join five winners from Atlantic High in Delray Beach and 15 others from other schools in the School District of Palm Beach County, according to a news release from the school district.

nationalmerit-logo1Ambereen F. Siddiqui, this year’s valedictorian of Spanish River Community High School was the National Merit Walgreen Co. Scholarship and Kierstin McClintock of Atlantic Community High School was the recipient of the National Merit Motorola Solutions Scholarship.

E’lysse A. Santana, Atlantic and Morley Wiener from Atlantic Community High School were among five who were awarded $2,500 scholarships.

The following six local students were awarded college-sponsored Merit Scholarships:

  • Olympic Heights Community High School’s Julia M. Berger earned the National Merit University of Central Florida Scholarship
  • Duncan A. Duff-Gray, Boca Raton Community High School, earned the National Merit University of Miami Scholarship
  • Nicolas G. Kunigk, Spanish River Community High School, was awarded the National Merit University of Florida Scholarship
  • Carly A. Poloskey, Olympic Heights Community High School, earned the National Merit University of Miami Scholarship
  • Charles E. Fisher of Atlantic Community High School earned the National Merit University of Florida Scholarship
  • Angela Yang of Atlantic Community High School earned the National Merit Emory University Scholarship

The students were chosen from more than 15,000 finalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program.

The winning scholars “are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies,” according to the scholarship corporation. “The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.”

This year’s competition began in October 2014 when more than 1.5 million high school juniors took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as the initial screen for program entrants. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than 1 percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semifinalists.

A committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors selected the scholars.

To become a finalist, semifinalists had to submit a detailed application, including their academic record, participation in school and community activities, employment and awards and honors received. They also were required to write an essay and submit a recommendation by a high school official.

On April 20, more than 1,000 recipients of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards were named, and on June 1 and July 18, some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners will be announced. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 7,500 academic champions will have won National Merit Scholarships worth approximately $33 million.”

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