IHS students earn National Merit distinction

1.6 million applied; Abby Levin, Owen Boice among 16K in national scholarship pursuit
Posted on 09/18/2018

Abby Levin and Owen Boice pose for a picture with IHS Principal, Doug Lauf.
Abby Levin, left, and Owen Boice, shown here with IHS Principal Doug Lauf, are seniors.

Only 16,000 of the 1.6 million students who entered the National Merit Scholarship Program make the semifinals, but Irondequoit High School seniors Abby Levin and Owen Boice have achieved that elite status.

The annual academic competition is open to all U.S. high school students. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a non-profit established in 1955, conducts the competition. Semifinalists like Levin and Boice are usually those who “show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.”

Students entered by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. To have a chance to reach the finals, semifinalists must be endorsed by a school official, perform well in college preparatory courses and write an essay with details about their activities/volunteer service, leadership positions, honors or awards and employment. Levin, 17, is a National Honor Society member who is also in Link Crew, Masterminds and is helping with the homecoming float. A three-sport athlete she is a midfielder in soccer, does high jump in track and is also a Girl Scout.

Boice, who turns 18 in October, is also on Link Crew, a member of Student Council and is one of two student representatives to the West Irondequoit School Board. He has performed on stage in school plays and this fall is starting a new challenge as Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, the Rodequoit. He would like to major in political science or government in college.

About 7,500 students will receive $31 million in scholarship money supplied by NMSC funds and 410-plus sponsor organizations. Scholarship winners will be announced in April, May, June and July.