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 Four Local Students Win National Achievement Scholarships

‚ÄčNational Merit Scholarship Corporation announced that four local outstanding Black American high school seniors are among only 800 nationally who have won Achievement Scholarship awards through the National Achievement Scholarship Program.

Brittany R. Butler (Mt. Carmel High School, Poway Unified), Harrison R. Collazo (Santa Fe Christian School), Nicole Marie Hardson-Hurley (Mira Mesa High School, San Diego Unified), and Alexandra G. Shade (Patrick Henry High School, San Diego Unified) each received a $2,500 National Achievement Scholarship. The awards are financed by grants from 34 corporate organizations and professional associations, and by National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

The National Achievement Scholarship Program is a privately financed academic competition established in 1964 specifically to honor scholastically talented Black American youth and to provide scholarships to a substantial number of the most outstanding participants in each annual competition.

More than 160,000 students entered the 2013 National Achievement Scholarship Program by requesting consideration in the competition when they took the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) as high school juniors. In September 2012, approximately 1,600 of the highest scorers were named Semifinalists on a regional representation basis. To continue in the competition, Semifinalists had to fulfill requirements for Finalist standing, which included having a record of consistently high academic performance; being endorsed and recommended by an official from their high school; earning SAT scores that confirmed their PSAT/NMSQT performance; and writing an essay.

From the Semifinalist pool, some 1,300 advanced to the Finalist level, and the 800 National Achievement Scholarship winners were selected from this group of outstanding students.

Achievement Scholar awardees are the Finalist candidates judged to have the strongest record of accomplishments and greatest potential for academic success in college.

By the conclusion of the 2013 program, marking the 49th annual competition, about 32,600 participants will have received scholarships for undergraduate study worth more than $103 million. The program is conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance.