Four W.Va. Students Named National Achievement Semifinalists

October 03, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Four West Virginia students have been named semifinalists in the 45th annual national Achievement Scholarship Competition.  

Christopher Jackson, Bluefield High School; Eric Yurko, Bridgeport High School; Marriah Ellington, East Fairmont High School; and Arron Seams, Greenbrier East High School in Lewisburg; are among 1,600 African-American high school seniors to be named semifinalists. They were chosen from more than 150,000 applicants and will compete for about 800 scholarships worth about $2.6 million. Winners will be announced next spring.  

The National Achievement Program is conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Program. The program began in 1964 to honor academically promising African-American students across the country. Since then, nearly 28,000 young men and women have received awards totaling about $91 million.  

To become finalists, semifinalists must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by their school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm their earlier qualifying test scores. The student, along with a school official, must submit a detailed scholarship application that includes information about the student’s educational goals and participation and leadership in school and community activities.  

Students enter the competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The pool of semifinalists includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.  

For more information, contact the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.

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