10 Fayette students, one each from Berea, Richmond receive Merit honors

Source: National Merit Scholarship Corporation

FAYETTE COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC®) announced this year’s National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners which includes 10 more seniors from Fayette County Public Schools and one each from Richmond and Berea.

According to NMSC®, the designees were chosen from a talent pool of some 16,000 outstanding Finalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program.

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In Fayette County, seven of the 10 designees represent Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School. Those include: Sadie Bograd, Benjamin Chen, Saisha Dhar, Noah Katz, Dylan Li, Khalid Rashad and Lohith Tummala. Representing Henry Clay High School are Hayden Caldwell, Robert Knight and Elizabeth Moore.

In addition, Coleman T. Reed from Berea Community High School was awarded a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship. His expected career field is computer engineering.

Also, Everett Thomas Parker-Noblitt from the Model Laboratory School in Richmond, also was awarded a $2,500 scholarship. His expected career field is public service.

National Merit $2,500 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. According to NMSC®, the number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

These 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 the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®); contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the Finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.

The release is the second announcement of winners in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship
Program. On April 21, about 1,000 recipients of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards were named, and on June 2 and July 12, some 4,000 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners will be announced, according to NMSC®.

By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 7,500 academic champions will have won National Merit Scholarships worth approximately $30 million.

NMSC finances most of the single-payment National Merit $2,500 Scholarships. According to NMSC®, corporations and company foundations that sponsor awards through NMSC also help underwrite these scholarships with grants they provide in lieu of paying administrative fees. Scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

2021 National Merit Scholarship Competition

This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2019 when over 1.5
million juniors in about 21,000 high schools took the PSAT/NMSQT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

Last fall, NMSC® reports the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named Semifinalists on a staterepresentational basis. Only these approximately 17,000 Semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.

From the Semifinalist group, some 16,000 students met the very high academic standards
and other requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. According to NMSC®, by the conclusion of the 2021 program, about 7,500 Finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of nearly $30 million in college scholarships.

You can read more about the competition and view the full list of winners, HERE.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!