Students recognized by College Board for academic success

Each year the College Board recognizes Hispanic and African American students through two of their special programs which evaluate student eligibility based on scoring in the top 10% in the state on the PSAT and having a GPA of at least 3.5. This year six of Bryans High’s students qualified for the honor: Tori Chambers, Macario Deleon, Mia Garza, Gabriel Gomez, Ana Martinez, and Jaden Scott.

“Students who qualify for a National Merit Scholarship are students who consistently work for academic excellence,” English teacher Carol Jordan said. “These students continually work to improve their academic performance rather than only doing enough to pass the class.”

Teachers recognize that students who qualify for these honors understand that they must put in the work to succeed.

“Qualifying students are rarely satisfied with the bare minimum – they ask questions when they don’t understand something, and they always do their best in all of their classes,” Jordan said. “These students see their education as their path to a successful future, and will do anything to achieve that goal.”

Senior Jaden Scott understands the honor of being named as a College Board National African American Recognition Program Scholar. 

“It feels very prestigious and very special to be amongst the top kids in the nation,” Jaden said. “It feels great to be recognized for my academic performance.”

Jaden believes that the award will have great benefits for him and other minorities when applying for college.

“I feel like it is very effective in setting us apart from a lot of the other students because this honor is something that colleges take very seriously and it looks really good on college applications,” Jaden said. “It will help set you that much higher than the competition.”

Junior Tori Chambers, a College Board National Hispanic Recognition Program recipient, also sees how the academic award helps minority students succeed.

“I think it helps with representation,” Tori said. “It brings light to how there needs to be representation for minorities. I hope it helps in getting scholarships, as well as with getting other financial aid.”

Junior Gabriel Gomez was also named as a scholar and would like to attend Georgia Tech or MIT to study engineering. He hopes this recognition helps open doors for him in the future.

“I think it is important to have programs that recognize minorities,” Gabriel said. “There are a lot of minority students that, unfortunately, don’t go to college after high school but receiving this recognition might be encouraging to them to do so.”

Students are not the only ones who see the benefits offered by this award.
“I think the program offers a great way to get students in touch with colleges and opportunities for scholarships,” history teacher Kristen Runyen said. “By earning this distinction, they may have an upper hand in future scholarship applications. This could be effective in helping students get into college by lessening the financial strain and making scholarships easier to find.”

The students who earned this recognition understand the sacrifices they had to make to do well in school and to receive this academic honor. 

“Take academics seriously,” Jaden said. Students should make sure they put academics first since they have the rest of their life to have fun and be free. Right now we should still have fun, but make sure that education is our number one priority because it can help take us extremely far in life and can open a lot of doors.”