PARIS — An Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School senior has been named one of four area semifinalists in the 61st annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Benjamin Andrews of Norway will now have the opportunity to continue in the competition to earn one of 7,400, $2,500 merit scholarships that will be offered next spring by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
“If I earn a National Merit Scholarship, it will be an honor to be selected and will open up new opportunities for me as I go to college,” Andrews said.
Andrews said the semifinalist designation was based on his PSAT score.
For consideration as a finalist, he must complete a number of activities including submitting a detailed application, having a consistently high academic record, writing an essay, being endorsed and recommended by a school official, and taking the SAT and earning a score that confirms his PSAT/NMSQT performance.
Andrews said he wrote his essay about a trip to Washington, D.C., with a group of strangers and how he developed a greater awareness of how he could affect people’s perception of him.
A senior at the comprehensive high school, he is involved with the cross country Nordic team, the Math team and Boy Scouts, where he is working toward an Eagle Scout designation. As a multi-faceted musician, he also plays the viola in the high school orchestra and sings with the Chamber Choir, among other activities.
Andrews lives with his parents Roberta and Jeffrey Andrews and hopes to attend his top choice for a four-year college – Dartmouth College in New Hampshire where he may study structural engineering. His sister, Alyssa Andrews, is currently attending Colby College in Waterville.
“My mother and father … have always encouraged me to do my best in school, to try different things and to keep my options open,” he said.
Andrews was among four local area students named as semifinalists this year. The other three are Miriam S. Cohen of Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, Joseph Vozzo, a home-schooled student from Gray and Kyle Almquist of Lewiston High School.
According to the National Merit program officials, every finalist will compete for one of 7,400 scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 250 corporations and business organizations for finalists. About 190 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 3,900 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.
National Merit Scholarship winners of 2016 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April.