By Conrad Dudderar
A Yukon High School senior has achieved a high academic distinction.
Anjalina L. Thomas has been named a National Merit semifinalist – the first such YHS honoree in two years.
The National Merit scholarship program honors individual students across the United States who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
Anjalina’s name was announced this week among 16,000 semifinalists in the 69th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
These academically talented high school seniors have the opportunity to continue in a competition for some 7,140 National Merit scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.
Yukon Public Schools will present Anjalina with an academic letter jacket as a reward for this high academic distinction, according to Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth.
This is done for all National Merit semifinalists.
“We want to make sure we support them and really honor that,” Simeroth said at the Sept. 11th YPS board meeting. “That’s a big deal.”
Anjalina was among more than 1.3 million juniors who entered the 2024 National Merit scholarship program by taking the 2022 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).
This served as an initial screen of program entrants.
The nationwide pool of semifinalists – representing less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors – features the highest-scoring entrants in each state.
Some 204 students from 28 cities comprise Oklahoma’s 2024 National Merit semifinalist group. Fifty-three schools are represented.
Five Mustang High School seniors from Yukon also have been named National Merit semifinalists – Carah A. Day, Brayden S. Garner, Avery M. Glinsmann, Micah J. Roberts, and Nathanael W. Winn.
Another Canadian County high school has a semifinalist – Piedmont senior Caleb M. Houston.
THE NEXT STEP
To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.
This includes submitting a scholarship application detailing their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.
To become a finalist, they also must have an outstanding academic record, be endorsed by a high school official, write an essay, and attain a high SAT or ACT score.
Some 95% of this year’s semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing. About half of the finalists will win a National Merit scholarship – thus earning the “Merit Scholar” title.
Merit Scholar designees are selected based on their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
The annual National Merit scholarship program is conducted by the not-for-profit National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by about 320 business organizations and higher education institutions.
They share NMSC’s goals to honor the country’s scholastic champions and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence.