Gatton Academy seniors Charvinia Neblett of Russellville and Henry Uradu of Russell have been recognized as semifinalists in the National Achievement Scholarship Program, an honor that potentially opens the door to college scholarship opportunities.
The National Achievement Scholarship Program is an academic competition established in 1964 specifically to honor scholastically talented black American high school students and provide college scholarships for a substantial number of the most outstanding participants in each annual competition. More than 1.5 million students take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test each year and approximately 160,000 students request consideration for the National Achievement Program. About 1,600 of the highest scoring applicants for the National Achievement Program are honored as semifinalists.
For these two Gatton seniors, it’s a great way to begin their final year of high school even as they focus on the college admissions process ahead. According to Gatton Academy Director Dr. Tim Gott, this is just the start to a busy and rewarding year.
“With this recognition, these students have earned a key that will open tremendous educational opportunities,” Gott said. “We look forward to seeing what these students will accomplish in the days ahead.”
To be considered in the rigorous competition for National Achievement scholarships, semifinalists must advance to the finalist level of the competition by meeting additional standards and fulfilling several requirements. These include having a record of very high academic performance of college preparatory course work, leadership and school involvement, submitting SAT scores that confirm PSAT performance, and being fully endorsed and recommended by a high school official.
Since students take the qualifying PSAT exam in October of their junior year of high school, much of the preparation stems from learning opportunities during their freshman and sophomore years of high school. The Gatton Academy builds on those experiences to provide students with a robust application and preparation for the SAT, a critical component in becoming a finalist.
“It is an honor to be named a National Achievement semifinalist,” Gott said. “These students have demonstrated a level of excellence that very few can claim. All of us, the Gatton staff and the schools they represent back home, value the opportunity to work with such outstanding young people.”