Top students recognized

Three Diocese of Venice Catholic high school seniors recently received national recognition for academic success and were named a 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist as announced on Sept. 12, 2023.

Those gaining semifinalist status are: Alexandra Mussey of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota, and from Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers, Patrick Dendis and Stephen Zell.

Alexandra, Patrick and Stephen’s achievement placed them among only 16,000 students nationwide to be recognized among the 1.3 million juniors who entered the competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The nationwide pool of semifinalists includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state and represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors.

Being named semifinalists puts these three scholars on a path to compete to become National Merit Scholarship Finalists and potential scholarship winners. The process includes submitting a detailed application with information about their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, as well as honors and awards received.

Finalists are announced in the spring and have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,140 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million to be offered in early 2024. The program not only offers financial support for college but also serves as a mark of academic excellence and distinction.

Congratulations to Alexandra, Patrick and Stephen!