BSM honors four National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Seniors Joe Marinaro, William Valley, Sarah Luong, and Harry Meshbesher  became National Merit Scholar Semifinalists after earning exceptional scores on the PSAT.

Photo Courtesy of BSM Marketing

Seniors Joe Marinaro, William Valley, Sarah Luong, and Harry Meshbesher became National Merit Scholar Semifinalists after earning exceptional scores on the PSAT.

Blake Mahmood, Staff Writer

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Four BSM seniors became National Merit Scholar Semifinalists after their exceptional scores on the PSAT. Joe Marinaro, Sarah Luong, Harry Meshbesher, and William Valley have been nationally recognized as having PSAT scores that are in the top 16,000 scores in America.

Every year, 1.5 million juniors take the PSAT (The Pre-SAT) in October. Only about 1% of students’ scores qualify for being a semifinalist. Now, these four students will complete an essay, along with the NMSC application. The next step of the process will occur sometime between March and May, as only 8,200 students of the original 1.5 million receive corporate-sponsored scholarships. “It’d be pretty cool to get one of the bigger scholarships,” Marinaro said.

Although the race is not over, it’s a huge accomplishment in the lives of these students. “It’s nice to see the hard work I put into school pay off. Hopefully, I can get scholarship opportunities from this,” Luong said.

It’s nice to see the hard work I put into school pay off. Hopefully, I can get scholarship opportunities from this.”

— Sarah Luong

BSM’s National Merit Scholars are not only known for the brilliant minds but their wide range of extracurriculars as well. Marinaro is the captain of the football team, student council class president, and he is involved in various clubs such as math league, Link Crew, Knightlife, BPA, and NHS. Luong is the captain of the volleyball team, math league captain, RKVC member, pianist, NHS member, and on top of it all, she finds time to work at Caribou. Meshbesher is the captain of knowledge bowl, a cross country and track team runner, a pianist, and a Robo Cup member. Valley is a cross country runner, knowledge bowl participant, nordic ski team member, ping pong captain, tennis player, and NHS member.

The level of preparedness among the semi-finalists varied greatly. On one end of the spectrum, Luong took a few PSAT readiness courses\; on the other, Mesbesher didn’t even know he was taking the test that day. “I came to school thinking we had a regular day,” said Meshbesher.

Marinaro and Valley, on the other hand, prepared for the PSAT by taking and studying for the ACT beforehand. “I took the ACT which had a similar format,” Marinaro said.

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