Senior Named Nation Merit Semi-Finalist

All the hard work senior Jewel Wong has put into her academics is finally paying off. The hours of studying she has spent, the amount of essays she has had to write and the large amount of homework she has completed have all led up to something she can truly use to her advantage; being a National Merit Semi-Finalist, giving her abundant opportunities. 

“I was simply ecstatic when I first heard of this opportunity, jumping around and dancing when I first got the call,” Wong said. “It was very surreal for me because I put being a National Merit Semi-Finalist so high, and to think that that is actually me was a collision of my dream and reality.” 

Wong credits her family with helping her achieve National Merit status because of how supportive they have been.

“My dad came running over toward me when he heard me screaming out of excitement as I was making such a scene,” Wong said. “My parents came back the next day with a whole cookie cake that said ‘We are so proud of you Jewel.'”

Not only does Wong express how supportive her family is, but said her friends have encouraged and supported her along the way. 

I was extremely happy for her,” senior Aileen Li said. “I also wasn’t surprised that she got National Merit because if she didn’t get it with her score, then no one would.”

Wong’s AP economics teacher David Ellis describes her as determined and hard working when it comes to her school work. In addition to taking AP economics, Wong takes all AP classes and participates in color guard.

“Jewel is extremely determined and handles her workload very well,” Ellis said. “She is one of the students that you can throw any question or material at and she will take a moment to process it, break it down and master it.” 

Now that Wong has been designated as a National Merit Semi-finalist, she will turn her efforts to what is next beyond high school.

“(I am) pursuing college-sponsored scholarships, such as applying to UTD where I can get a full ride and gain guaranteed admissions into the honors program if I am named a National Merit Finalist,” Wong said. “Additionally, I can list such an achievement as an honor on my Common Application and on my resume.” 

Ellis said Wong will excel past high school and prosper from this distinguishment. 

“Jewel has an extremely bright future,” Ellis said. “She has a caring heart and an awesome personality.”