Eight ETHS students named semifinalists for national scholarship

ETHS is achieving.

Eight seniors were named as semifinalists for the 2015 National Achievement Scholarship Program, a scholarship created to recognize outstanding African-American students.

The students were Matthew Auston, Andrew Bempah, Larenz Brown, Jackie Colquitt, Michelle Foster, Kai Joy, Austin Klopfer, and Logan Stuart.

“It’s really important because it shows the whole picture of the student, and it’s especially important considering the successes that we are trying to celebrate in relation to our students,” said Beth Arey, College and Career Coordinator. “Showing the whole picture shows what our students, particularly our black students, are achieving here at ETHS.”

Nationwide, about 1,600 seniors are named semifinalists. In order to qualify, students must demonstrate strong academic performance throughout high school, and must have a recommendation from a faculty member. Additionally, they must have taken the PSAT, and receive a certain score. The student must also self-identify as a “Black American.”

“We have eight students this year, and that is more students than I’ve ever seen here,” said Arey. “We’re actually tied for seventh in the country, and the other seven schools with the same amount or more are all science- and technology-focused schools or magnet schools, so we’re actually first among ‘traditional’ high schools.”

The finalists will be announced in late January. The winners of the full scholarship will be declared National Merit Scholars.

“I think this is significant enough that we need to pay attention to it, and figure out what these students did, as far as their courses and what they earned, and make sure that we continue to advertise this opportunity to students in unique ways,” said Arey. “These eight students have really raised the bar for what we can do with our students.”