Two Belton students named National Merit Scholars
Monday, 25 February 2013 by Matthew Girard
The National Merit Scholarship Program announced its 15,000 finalists for this year on Monday and two Belton High School students made the cut.
On Monday, seniors Lucy Soerens and Mitch Anderson were announced as finalists after being named semi-finalists in October.
"I never really expected to get this far," Soerens said. "I studied before my PSAT and I intended to do well, but I really didn't think it was going to go this far."
The NMSP is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the NMSP by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Qualifying Test. Of the 1.5 million entrants from across the country, approximately 50,000 students qualify for recognition.
Anderson, who scored a perfect score on the PSAT, said he knew he did well but didn't know he would become a finalist.
"I always knew I wanted to do my best but because you are competing against all the other kids in the U.S., it's kind of up in the air," Anderson said. "All my years in school have been helping to work toward this moment. All the teachers I've had for the past 12 years have really encouraged me to be my best academically."
Soerens said she was thankful for all the help along the way.
"God provided me with a really great family and really great teachers," Soerens said. "I think it says a lot about the school district. We have very capable teachers that really care about making sure their students do well."
All winners of the Merit Scholarship awards are chosen from the finalist group base on their abilities, skills and accomplishments. Beginning in March, the NMSP will notify about 8,300 finalists that they have been selected as an award winner of one of three different scholarship awards.
"It validates all the work that you've done," said Anderson of being a finalist. "There are people out there that want to see you succeed and are willing to give you opportunities to go a lot further with your studies then you normally would be able to."
Soerens will attend Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie in the fall and Anderson is planning on attending the University of Texas at Austin.