A 17-year-old Seymour High School student has been named as a finalist in a national scholarship program.
Kaylee Waskom, a senior at SHS, has met all requirements to advance to the finalist standing in the National Merit Scholarship Program competition.
Waskom learned in September 2021 she was one of approximately 16,000 semifinalists.
The finalists are all are academically talented high school seniors who will continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered this spring, according to a news release from the program.
The selection of scholarship winners from the group of more than 15,000 finalists is now in progress, and approximately half of all finalists win a scholarship.
In March, National Merit Scholarship Corp. will begin notifying winners with confidential notifications sent to their high schools beginning in April and concluding in July.
In the program, three types of scholarship awards are offered to finalists: National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards.
Students enter the program as high school juniors, taking the 2020 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as an initial screen of program entrants.
The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1% of US high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.
To become a finalist, Waskom and school officials submitted a detailed scholarship application, in which they provided information about her academic record, participation in school and community activities, her leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards received.
“I was very happy when I heard the news that I was named a finalist in the program,” she said. “I am very excited and thankful for the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Waskom said she is involved in basketball and softball, and when it comes to managing her homework, sports and other activities, she has been able to balance her time pretty well.
“I am a member of clubs through my school, such as National Honor Society, Dance Marathon for Riley Hospital, student government and Latin Club,” she said. “I am also a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church and a member of 4-H.”
She serves as vice president of the National Honor Society and is a DARE Role Model.
“I am employed by Sno-Biz in Seymour, and I received an AP Scholar award after my junior year of high school,” she said. “I have also received Owl of the Month awards in world languages and family and consumer sciences.”
In her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her friends and family.
“After graduation, I plan to attend college to further my education,” she said. “I have still not yet decided on a course of study for college.”
Her parents are David and Stacey Waskom of Seymour, and she has an older sister, Laken, who is in her second year at Purdue University.
Stacey said they are all very proud of Kaylee.
“This program has opened up a lot of possibilities for her in terms of scholarships to college,” Stacey said. “We can’t wait to see where it takes her.”
For information about the program, visit nationalmerit.org.