Two Zachary High students named National Achievement Semifinalists

Zachary High School students Macy Lagarde and Jordan Sergent are Semifinalists in the 45th annual Achievement Scholarship Competition, the National Achievement Scholarship Program announced recently.

The scholastically talented students, among more than 1,600 African-American high-school seniors who have been designated 2009 Semifinalists, now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for approximately 800 scholarships worth more than $2.6 million to be awarded next spring.

The National Achievement Program, conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), is a privately financed academic competition that operates without government assistance. It was initiated in 1964 to recognize academically promising African-American students throughout the nation and to provide scholarships to a substantial number of the most outstanding program participants. To date, more than 27,800 young men and women have received Achievement Scholarship awards worth more than $91 million.

Approximately 1,300 Semifinalists are expected to fulfill additional requirements and advance to the Finalist level in the 2009 program. All Achievement Scholar® awardees will be selected from the Finalist group on the basis of their abilities, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

More than 150,000 high school juniors from all parts of the United States requested consideration in the 2009 National Achievement Program when they took the 2007 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Semifinalists were designated within geographic regions and are the highest-scoring program entrants in the states that make up each region.

To advance to the Finalist level in the competition, a Semifinalist must present a record of high academic performance throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high-school principal and earn SAT scores that confirm the PSAT/NMSQT performance. Also, the Semifinalist and a high-school official must complete a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about the student’s participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities and educational goals.

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