Written By Eliza Trejo Maqueda, Jason McRee, Kevin Ramos

Photography by Hector Garcia

“I wouldn’t say that I believe most people can’t achieve that goal, it’s really just about their willingness to put in more work and try to reach their full potential in all of their classes.”

Alexander Davis

The journey to a national merit scholar can be quite challenging. The road to becoming a national merit scholar consists of many trials, but if you apply yourself, you may be able to leap over those obstacles and reach new heights.

Earning a National Merit Scholarship comes with many benefits for example it will look good on college resumes and will also show the colleges that you’re hard working and determined. Only students who achieve top scores may receive national merit commended. Therefore those who are willing to put the effort in their studies will gain many benefits simply because  they are willing to put the work and effort and strive for greater things that will benefit them in the long run.

Emily didn’t give up easily and kept striving for more and greater things because she wanted to separate herself from others by making herself different and more knowledgeable than other people. “National Merit Scholar was one of my goals, because it’s something you can add to your resume to show colleges that you’re prepared for all of their classes and that you’re willing to put forth the effort.” she said.

Being so called “fit” for this scholarship consists of hard work, determination, and a strong mind . As Emily Lewey said, ”If you focus on doing your homework every day, maybe practicing a little bit on Khan Academy for the concepts you don’t understand, that should really benefit you.”

To earn the National Merit Scholarship it is determined by your PSAT scores. From all the high school juniors that take the exam nationwide, only about 16,000 students earn scores that are qualified for the semi-finals. After the tests are graded only around 15,000 are considered finalists. In this group only about 7,500 are awarded scholarships around $2,500 each year per student.

Alexander doing work in front of the classroom.
Cedar Creek High School, October 4, 2019

In conclusion, being able to earn the National Merit Commended Scholar title requires for the participant to be focused, hardworking and determined.

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