February 22, 2012 - Clarkston High School students Nicholas Dahl, Hannah Frame, Kyle Gruebnau, Melissa Pavlik, and Andrew Salada are amongst about 8,400 National Merit Finalists in the nation.
From left, Andrew Salada, Hannah Frame, Nicholas Dahl, Melissa Pavlik, and Kyle Gruebnau are National Merit Finalists. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
"I'm so excited – I couldn't be more thrilled," Pavlik said.
"It's really awesome," Gruebnau said. "It's a big deal, a scholarship opportunity for out of state I wouldn't have otherwise. It's really important to me."
"It's kind of cool – we worked really hard for it," Salada said. "It's nice to be recognized for hard work we did. It's humbling."
"I signed up on the last day of registration with cash I had on hand, then didn't think anything of it," said Frame, who is interested in studying chemistry after graduation.
"I'm really interested in knowing how the world works," she said. "Nanotechnology fascinates me."
Dahl is looking into engineering.
"I like electrical engineering, computers, something like that," he said.
Gruebnau is looking at Central Michigan, Western Michigan, and other universities' engineering programs.
"I'll take some intro classes – take it slow and figure out what I want to do," he said.
Salada is looking to study aerospace engineering at Texas A&M.
"I love planes and flying – I always have," he said.
Pavlik is looking to study political science, perhaps in Chicago.
"I'm really interested in government," she said.
Finalists compete for National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, as well as corporate- and college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards.
Scholarship winners are announced in the spring.
– Phil Custodio