TYLER, TX - Five Robert E. Lee High School students were recently named as 2009 National Merit Finalists. Gabe Rosenfield, Ahmed El-Kishky, Kristin Johnson, Alex Baldwin, and Mika Smith will compete for 8,200 National Merit scholarships worth more than $35 million dollars to be offered next spring.
"When asked about why they feel they have been awarded this honor, these National Merit Finalists collaboratively replied, 'Hard work, self motivation, and taking the PSAT very seriously.' These are outstanding young people--just being in the room with them makes me feel smarter," said Celia Tucker, College and Career Counselor for Robert E. Lee High School.
Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. Approximately 15,000 Semifinalists are expected to advance to the Finalist level and it is from this group that all National Merit Scholarship winners will be chosen.
To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by his or her high school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test. The Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student's self-descriptive essay and information about the Semifinalist's participation and leadership in school and community activities.