Seven Additional School District Five Students Earn National Merit Scholarships

IRMO – Seven more students from Lexington-Richland School District Five have secured National Merit Scholarships, bringing pride to their community and schools.

The students who received the college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards are:

  • Brayden Berner (Chapin High) – Attending the University of Kentucky.
  • Damien Dedmond (Chapin High) – Attending the University of South Carolina.
  • Steven Eason (Chapin High) – Attending Florida State University.
  • Amber Hawkinson (Chapin High) – Attending the University of South Carolina.
  • Darwin Newman-Norlund (Dutch Fork High) – Attending the University of South Carolina.
  • Ryan Riddle (Spring Hill High) – Attending the University of Alabama.
  • John Shelley (Dutch Fork High) – Attending Clemson University.

These scholarships, awarded in the third round of National Merit announcements, provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the respective sponsoring institutions.

Earlier this year, Andrew Farmer and Kathryn Stover, both from Chapin High, received National Merit $2,500 Scholarships in the initial rounds of awards.

The Merit Scholarship Journey

The path to winning these prestigious scholarships began when students took the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in October 2022. The highest scorers, representing less than 1% of high school seniors nationally, became Semifinalists on a state-by-state basis.

These Semifinalists then had to advance to the Finalist level by meeting rigorous academic criteria, submitting detailed applications, and securing school endorsements. Out of over 15,000 Finalists, about half will ultimately receive Merit Scholarships.

School District Five had 15 Semifinalists this year, and the latest recipients have successfully navigated this competitive process to join the ranks of National Merit Scholars.

Further National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced on July 15, continuing to recognize outstanding students across the nation.

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