6 MPS students named among nation's top African-American students
Scholastic achievement, school and community service and leadership ability are characteristics of six Montgomery Public School students who have been named among the nation's top African-American students by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). The news coincided with the NMSC's release of the names of Achievement Semifinalists nationwide.
Loveless Academic Magnet Program High students Arielle B. Fletcher, Kristin A. Mays, Richard E. McCant, Audriana R. Osborne, Oghenetegiri "T.G." Sido and Dontavious J. Sippial were among 1,600 students from an applicant pool of 160,000 to be named National Achievement Semifinalists. MPS leads the state with more Achievement Semifinalists than any other school system. Of the 31 Alabama students to be named, six are from MPS.
"It's very gratifying to see our students earn national recognition that acknowledges their hard work and commitment to academic excellence," said MPS Superintendent Barbara Thompson. "These young people are bright and highly-motivated. They have proven themselves to be among the best of the best. The LAMP administration, teachers, staff and parents have done an outstanding job. I am very proud of what they have achieved."
LAMP Principal Marygeorge Jester said the achievement is no small feat, especially in light of the extracurricular activities many of these students are involved in. For example, Oghenetegiri "T.G." Sido helps coach the school's volleyball team and Richard McCant serves as an officer on the student council. Several of the other students are involved in various service projects at school and in the community and hold leadership roles in student organizations.
"The process for earning this honor is rigorous and it reflects not only a commitment to scholarship but to service, leadership, and character," said Jester. "I believe our Achievement Semifinalists excel because their accomplishments in the classroom and their participation in extracurricular activities area direct reflection of the values that have been instilled in them by their families and the investment their teachers and parents have made for them to be successful."
Achievement Semifinalists represent the highest scoring program entrants in each state. About 80 percent of Semifinalists become Finalists, and more than half of the Finalists receive a $2,500 Achievement Scholarship Award. The students were evaluated based on their scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, academic record, community involvement, leadership ability and personal essay. They will advance in the competition and will have the opportunity to compete for 800 Achievement Scholarship awards worth some $2.5 million to be offered next spring.