Friday, May 29, 2015

MISD Seniors Prove Hard Work Literally Pays Off

L-R: Grant Wilkie, Kendall Curtis, and Ifeoluwa Obayan
For three Mansfield ISD seniors, hard work in their junior year paid off—literally.

Grant Wilkie from Summit High School, Kendall Curtis from Mansfield High School, and Ifeoluwa Obayan from Timberview High School all received very prestigious scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

Wilkie and Curtis received the National Merit Scholarship. Obayan was awarded the National Achievement Scholarship, which is given to high-achieving African-American students. Both of the scholarships are awarded based on a student’s high Preliminary SAT (PSAT) scores.

The winners of the scholarships receive $2,500, and universities often discount their tuition to finalists. For Wilkie, the news couldn’t have come at a better time.

“This is definitely the most important thing that’s happened to me in my life,” said Wilkie, who will be headed to Baylor University in the fall with his tuition fully paid. “I’m finally able to give back to my parents by saving them money. It’s a huge blessing.”

Out of 1.5 million National Merit entrants nationwide, only 7,600 are named as scholarship winners. Curtis, also headed to Baylor, explains what she did to help her odds.

“AP classes helped,” said the future law student. “I would suggest reading a lot of high-level literature and taking the harder math classes.”

Obayan can boast that she’s one of 800 winners out of 160,000 total applicants to receive the National Achievement Scholarship. She said looking back, she’s glad she put in the countless hours to review for the PSAT.

“I really worked hard,” said Obayan. “The District offered a PSAT prep program in the summer in my junior year, and I remember spending every Monday in that class for two to three hours. It really paid off.”

Obayan, valedictorian of her class, will be going to Harvard University to major in biomedical engineering.

For more information about the National Merit Scholarship Corporation and their awards, visit the NMSC website.