A local Nevada County high school student is a semi-finalist in the National Achievement Scholarship program for her high marks on the pre-SAT.
Adrienne Michael, a Ghidotti Early College High School student, is one of more than 160,000 high school juniors throughout the United States who competed in the program by completing the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, according to a release by the National Achievement Scholarship program.
The National Achievement Scholarship Program is an academic competition established in 1964 to provide recognition for outstanding black American high school students.
Michael said the National Achievement Scholarship program is the first competition she’s ever been a semi-finalist for, and she said winning would open up a lot of scholarship opportunities.
Michael said she would like to go to Boston University, East West University or Marquette University, though she is considering other options, as well.
Currently, she plans on pursuing a career as an oral surgeon and already has shadowed a local dentist and volunteered at a clinic in Sacramento.
“I assisted lots of dental procedures and oral surgery procedures and decided that’s what I really wanted to do after I graduate,” she said.
Michael volunteered for Remote Area Medical, which serves those without health care in other countries. But after volunteering in Sacramento, she realized people in the U.S. are also in need of services.
“After going to that, I really saw that when people have tooth pain or jaw pain, it’s really a pressing need,” she said. “It’s a direct type of pain, so I think I can help out in some way.”
Michael said she is grateful for the opportunities and support she has received.
“I’m very happy and thankful to be in a family where they really support me, and I have Ghidotti to help with my education,” she said. “I really have a lot of opportunities. Meanwhile, other people of color don’t necessarily have the same opportunities, and I think the scholarship is geared toward showing people of color can succeed.”
The National Achievement Scholarship program is linked to the National Merit Scholarship program, which offers scholarships to high-achieving students of any background.
“I think that it’s nice they offer opportunities for everybody,” Michael said.
Semi-finalists in the program and their high schools must submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards received.
Semi-finalists must also present a record of high academic performance throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT scores that confirm their PSAT/NMSQT performance.
From about 1,600 semi-finalists, 1,300 are expected to advance to the finalist level and in January will be notified of the designation. All Achievement Scholar award recipients will be selected from the finalist group based on abilities, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college courses.
Each finalist will compete for one of 700 $2,500 scholarships, which will be awarded on a regional representation basis. Corporate and business sponsors will also underwrite about 100 Achievement Scholarship awards for finalists who meet criteria set by the grantor.
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4230.