The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm

The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm

The student news site of Amarillo High School

The Sandstorm


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Four Amarillo High Students Move On to National Merit Scholar Semifinals


National Merit Semifinalists score within the top 1.25 percent of PSAT testers in the nation; around 16,000 students in the entire country earn this coveted rank each year. 

Four seniors: Michael Carathers, Mehtan Rahman, Lily Sobey, and Jeffery Zheng have earned the title of National Merit Semifinalists. Six seniors: Eleanor Archer, Serenity Canales, Sofia Deichert, Steven Jalbert, Kaylie Ledbetter, and Nathaniel Logsdon scored in the top 3 percent, making them National Merit Commended. 

In order to reach such an esteemed title, the semifinalists each have their motivations.

“I’m pretty competitive, so I would say that motivates me the most,” Sobey said. “My family also encourages me to work hard and succeed.”

The seniors felt many emotions when finding out that they qualified for the semi-finals, but pride appeared as the most prominent.

“I felt extremely proud and humbled, I have put a lot of hard work into my studies, and to see that pay off is very rewarding,” Carathers said. “At the same time, it is a huge honor and extremely humbling to be recognized among that group of students.”

After reaching the semi-finals for National Merit, the seniors have a wider range of career and college options.

“I want to major in physics and pursue a career in academia and education,” Rahman said.

Qualifying for the semi-finals has allowed the seniors to look back at their experiences and determine that their work paid off.

“Qualifying for the National Merit Scholar felt rewarding because I have poured a lot of time and energy into my studies,” Sobey said. “I’m thankful for the people who have helped me get to this point.”

The semi-finalists have worked hard, using their own methods, to make the most of their high school years.

“I would say I am sticking as true to myself as possible, and hoping that the judges will be able to see all of the work and energy I have put in the last three years and it will pay off,” Carathers said.

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About the Contributor
Maryam Adnan
Maryam Adnan, Editor
Hey! I'm head editor this year and I LOVE writing and editing stories. My favorite thing about being on the Newspaper staff is competing in UIL. Outside of newspaper, I am involved in National Honor Society, Student Council, Golden Hour Peer Tutoring, Science Bowl and a few more clubs. I'm very excited for this year!