QCHS senior receives $2,500 National

By Gary Weckselblatt

Quakertown Community High School senior Mikayla Fuentes has been awarded a $2,500 scholarship by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Mikayla and the $2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. The National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state's percentage of the nation's graduating high school seniors.

In Pennsylvania, 104 $2,500 scholarships were awarded. Mikayla is one of six students in Bucks County to receive the honor.

"Mikayla is so very deserving of this award," Principal Dr. David Finnerty said. "She is a hard worker who excels not only academically but is part of many school clubs and activities that positively impact the Quakertown community."

Patty Sabol, Mikayla's high school counselor, wrote the letter of recommendation for a student she described as "exceptional in terms of her academic record and her potential, but she excels beyond a typical student in both character and talent.

"Mikayla is compassionate. Strong-willed. Inquisitive. Talented. Mikayla Fuentes is ready. She is ready for the next level. I have the greatest confidence that she will be a true asset to her college community, to future production groups and to those lucky enough to be in her circle."

Four QCHS students were recognized for their academic success this year, placing them in the top 1 percent of students nationwide. Mikayla and Adria Retter each qualified as National Merit Scholarship Finalists. Nam Le and Hailey Reiss each received a Letter of Commendation for their outstanding performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test in 2017.

The $2,500 Scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the

Finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

By the conclusion of this year's competition, about 7,600 academic champions will have won National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million.

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.

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