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The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

GALLERY: Prom 2024
GALLERY: Prom 2024
April 7, 2024

MAST Academy’s three named National Merit Semifinalists

On Sept. 14, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) released the names of more than 16,000 semifinalists and recognized them for their high scores on the PSAT exam. Of these semifinalists, three MAST seniors were named: Carola Bessler, Maria Josefina Estrada, and Blake Griffiths. They were recognized for their PSAT scores of 1450, 1460, and 1470, respectively. 

“They called my mom and my mom tears up at anything. They were all excited for me,” Estrada said about her family’s reaction to her recognition. 

“It means a lot. It made me feel really good about myself, especially because I thought I did bad at the time,” Bessler said. 

Already on the road leading up to a Merit Scholarship, Estrada, Griffiths, and Bessler are extremely proud of the recognition received for their hard work and impressive scores and hope to be recognized as NMSC Finalists in the spring.  

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On Oct. 5, these aspiring Finalists submitted their personal essay, teacher recommendation, and SAT or ACT scores to NMSC.  

Beginning in March, NMSC notifies Finalists that they have been chosen to win the National Merit Scholarship and gives students the opportunity to receive one of three scholarships: The National Merit $2500 Scholarship, the corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship, or the college-sponsored Merit Scholarship. 

“I was trying to get the Benacquisto Scholarship [ a $2500 scholarship] and it basically pays for any school in Florida if you get the National Merit Finalist, so I studied a lot for the PSAT. Hopefully this means that I can go to UF for free, which is where I want to go,” Griffiths said.

It seems that these Semifinalists are ready to become Finalists. Until then however, good luck MAKOS!

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MAST Academy’s three named National Merit Semifinalists