Six seniors honored as National Merit semi-finalists

Rachel Riley

Six Bearden seniors were announced as National Merit semi-finalists on Wednesday. Ashley Campbell, Nick Davies, Rob Jones, Martin Lu, Jacob Steimer, and Madison Stott were invited to attend a luncheon that afternoon. The guidance department and parents congratulated students on being the six from Bearden to earn semi-finalist out of a group of 21 commended scholars, and a lunch of chicken pesto pasta was provided by Mrs. Angelia Ford’s Nutrition and Foods class. National Merit semi-finalists scored in the top 16,000 of 1.5 million students that took the PSAT last year. With this honor, appeal to admission officers and scholarship opportunities increases significantly for each individual. “It’s definitely exciting,” Campbell said. “Now I’m just eager to see what options it will open up for me in college.” The thousands of dollars in scholarship money awarded to National Merit Scholars each year come from both corporations and public and private universities. In fact, some schools offer all-inclusive financial packages. The University of Alabama awards National Merit Scholars with a full ride, room and board, a semester of study abroad, a new computer, and various other funds. “Colleges definitely want them, so it’s really an honor,” Guidance Counselor Mrs. Lee Goddard said. “Lots of scholarship opportunities.” Last year, Bearden recognized nine commended scholars, five semi-finalists, and four finalists. This year’s finalists will be announced sometime in February.