Students Recognized as National Merit Scholars

The National Merit Scholarship program was founded in 1955 to identify and honor talented American youth and encourage them to develop their abilities to the fullest. Seniors T.J. Akram, Leah Beltrone, and Madeleine Hall have been recognized.

“I feel accomplished,” Akram said. “At least someone recognizes how much effort we put into something that’s academic.”

Each student has different ways of preparing for the SAT, needing to score at least a 221 to qualify.

“I just go over things little by little,” Akram said. “I don’t do more than an hour at a time and I’ll listen to music so I don’t burn myself out.”

Other students did something different to study for their tests.

“Most of my study habits hinge on to-do lists,” Hall said. “If I don’t write it down, I won’t get it done. Being able to visualize the work I need to do and physically crossing it off definitely helps me. I usually don’t have time to study solely for the sake of studying, so I plan everything I need to get done and tackle it one item at a time.”

In order to gain this recognition, the students have had to maintain their grades

“I was only a commended student, which made me a little disappointed but I think it’s still significant! It’s really exciting because, while test scores of course aren’t an accurate representation of intelligence, I studied a lot for that test and it paid off,” Hall said.

In order to obtain this achievement, students have to put in a lot of effort and it can be difficult to balance life with studies.

“The hardest part has been staying motivated because a lot of times it will get hard and you’ll want to just quit but you just have to keep moving and when you do just that, you can accomplish anything.” Beltrone said.