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Sacred Heart senior named National Merit semifinalist

Oct. 1, 2011 at 5:01 a.m.

Emily Kossa, of Sacred Heart High School, in Hallettsville was named a national merit semi-finalist.

Emily Kossa, a senior at Sacred Heart Catholic High School, has been named a semifinalist in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Emily is the daughter of Michael and Linda Kossa, of LaGrange.

Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of about 16,000 semifinalists in the 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Emily is active in various school and community activities and has received numerous honors.

In addition to participating in volleyball, basketball, swimming, tennis and softball, she also serves as drum major for the second year in a row, is active with Leo Club and is on National Honor Society.

She qualified for the TAPPS state competition in literary criticism, math and ready writing and also qualified for regional symphonic band.

Emily was invited to attend the Texas A&M University Summer Honors Invitational Program and has served as a junior staff member at Camp Lone Star, a Christian youth camp, for the past three years. She attended St. Rose of Lima School in Schulenburg through eighth grade.

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $34 million that will be offered in the spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by National Merit Scholarship Corporation with its own funds and by about 440 business organizations and higher education institutions that share the corporation's goals of honoring the nation's scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, which represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

National Merit Scholarship winners for 2012 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join more than 283,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

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