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Jessop announced National Merit Semi-Finalist

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A voice came over the intercom in the commons announcing the schools only National Merit semi-finalist. Jacquee Jessop, senior, was filled with a sense of pride and joy due to her PSAT honor, naming her semi-finalist.
Jessop had a nervous, gut-feeling that it would be her.
“I had a feeling that it was going to be me, but I wasn’t completely sure,” she said. “When I walked into the Commons and only saw one set of balloons I got pretty anxious because I thought there would be more than one Semifinalist.”
Her gut-feeling was right.
“When they called my name, I just felt super proud in that moment, and super excited that my hard work had paid off. It was a really special moment,” Jessop said.
She was congratulated by her family and friends.
“My friends were all surrounding me when they called my name and they all jumped up and started yelling for me it was awesome. My whole family was there also and seeing them when they announced it made it 100 times better to me,” Jessop said.
She received the honor because of high scores. Grateful, she wished there were others to join her in the title of semi-finalist.
“I was glad that I got it because although I wish there were more semifinalists, I worked really hard towards this accomplishment and it was a relief knowing that my hard work paid off and actually had an impact,” Jessop said. “I think there are definitely people who put in a lot of effort towards this test and deserved that recognition. I also wish there were more because it would show how academically strong our school is.”
National Merit has been a dream of hers.
“I have wanted to be a National Merit finalist since I was a kid,” she said.
From a young age the seed of finalist was planted in her head.
“I’m pretty sure I saw it on T.V. somewhere when I was around 8 years old, and as a kid I had always heard that National Merit meant free college, and I really wanted that for myself. My parents also built it up quite a bit when I was younger,” Jessop said.
She worked hard to reach the goal.
“I did have to study a lot. I went to The Tutoring Center for six hours a week for two months leading up to the test,” Jessop said. “I would go to the Tutoring Center three nights a week for two hours, from like 7:30 to 9:30, and would just work on everything involving the SAT. I would go from the math sections to the English and reading multiple choice questions to writing essays, it was really exhausting.”
It was an ongoing process.
“I started working towards that [National Merit] sophomore year when I took it [the PSAT] to see what it would be like. Then I started studying the summer before the test,” Jessop said. “I practiced for the PSAT because I knew that it determined who go National Merit and I really wanted to succeed and do well on it.”
She has high hopes for the future of becoming a National Merit finalist and receiving a scholarship. Out of the 16,000 semi-finalists, 15,000 students become finalists, meaning she has a 15 in 16 chance of getting the title.
“I hope that I get to go to college for free; getting a full ride would be really cool!” she said.

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Jessop announced National Merit Semi-Finalist