Receiving recognition for years of academic astuteness, Duncanville High School senior Shanan Ahmad was recently named a 2012 National Merit Scholarship Commended Student. Shanan is one of only 34,000 high school seniors in the US to receive this distinction. “This validates all of the hard work that I feel I’ve put into my schooling,” she commented.
Each year, approximately 1.5 million high school juniors from across the country take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQTR). Their reading, writing, and arithmetic skills are assessed in preparation for the SAT. But the PSAT/NMSQTR is not only an assessment tool; it also provides entry into National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) competitions. Of the 1.5 million yearly test takers, only about 50,000 of the nation’s highest scoring students receive National Merit Scholar status.
Although Shanan will not continue in the 2012 competition for National Merit Scholarships, she hopes that the elite nature of a Commended Student title is enough to secure some college funding. Recently finishing her application to the University of Florida, Ahmad also plans to apply to Yale University and the University of California at Berkeley. “I’m looking for an environment to further my development – a place where I can better myself and help better others,” she said. Ahmad plans to major in Psychology, English, or History.
Shanan has attended Duncanville ISD schools since the sixth grade, and is looking forward to her last year. “Duncanville has taught me how to stand out in my own way, find a group of friends, and make a name for myself among 3,900 other students.” When asked what advice she would give to younger students, Ahmad replied, “Enjoy every moment.”