Three students from Diocese of Orlando Catholic high schools were among this year’s recipients of National Merit Scholarships. The prestigious program recognizes students for their academic and extracurricular achievements. More than 1.4 million high school students nationwide competed for one of the nearly 7,600 awards, worth $34 million in scholarship money this year. Only 2,200 students nationwide and 179 students statewide earned National Merit Scholarships funded by U.S. colleges and universities.
Scholarship winners from the Diocese of Orlando include:
- Brooke Emison, Melbourne Catholic High School, Melbourne. Emison received a National Merit Scholarship from the University of Central Florida, where she plans to study astronomy.
- David Banks, Bishop Moore Catholic High School, Orlando. Banks received a National Merit Scholarship from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, where he plans to study engineering.
- Aiden Valente, Bishop Moore Catholic High School, Orlando. Valente received a National Merit Scholarship from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., where he plans to study computer science.
“I was very proud to learn that two of our Catholic high schools had National Merit Scholar winners,” said Henry Fortier, superintendent of Catholic Schools. “This is a very high honor. Having two of the nine Catholic high schools recognized in the state in the Diocese of Orlando is a confirmation of what we are doing here as it relates to holding our students to high academic standards, based in our Catholic faith. It is recognition from the state and that we are providing our students with the best possible education that can compete on a national level.”