Rachel Blake

Senior Ethan Volini

Q: What does being recognized in the National Merit Scholarship Program mean to you?

A: “It shows my scholarship has led to recognition.”

Q: How did you find out? How did you feel? 

A: “I googled my friend’s name, his name is Kenhwi Kim, not a very popular name. The option that came up was a LISD website. I was like, ‘Oh Kenwhi, you’re commended and oh I’m commended.’ I was happy.”

Q: What did you do to help improve your test scores leading up to it? What does it take to get the award? 

A: “I was in PSAT team so that helped. We did a bunch of practice tests. A prep class is probably essential, unless you think you’re diligent enough to study on your own but I don’t think many people are. It’s good to have a class that forces you to do stuff.”

Q: What are your college and career plans? 

A: “Maybe A&M, I’m thinking about being a civil engineer.”

Q: What activities are you involved in at school? Anything outside of school?

A: “I’m in band, NHS and Mu Alpha Theta.”

Q: How will this award affect your life/future?

A: “Ever since I received this award, every day has been different. I treasure my life way more, I treasure my academics. I walk in every day to school with a smile and I say, ‘I am ready to learn.’”

Q: What has been your biggest obstacle academically? Any specific class? How did you overcome it?

A: “Laziness, you know you’re at school all day and then you get home and you have to do homework, I don’t want to do homework. I’ll tell you when [overcoming it] happens.”

Q: Who in your life has helped you reach this point? How did they help you?

A: “My parents are very supportive, they kind of let me do my thing, also my teachers. Teachers like Mrs. Fieszel that [are] always willing to show you how to do a problem and how band directors are like, ‘Hey, you want me to listen to you [or] want help, just ask.’ 

Q: What is your advice to others hoping to be National Merit Scholars?

A: “Take a prep class, that will help.”

Q: What class/outside of school tutoring prepared you the most?

A: “PSAT team.”

Q: Do you have any good study tips for the standardized tests?

A: “With PSAT team, for math they give you a binder. It has things explaining the concept and examples. It’s a bunch of stuff like algebra. Have faith in yourself.”

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