GREENBURGH, N.Y. — A Greenburgh student has become one of 16,000 high school students nationwide to make it into the semifinals of the National Merit Scholarship Competition.
MaryAnne Marshall of Marina Regina High School was getting her textbooks for the upcoming semester in August when she was surprised with the news.
"It didn't really sink in until I told my mom," said Marshall, who will hear in February whether she is a finalist.
The amount of the scholarship depends on the school or corporation sponsoring the student, though colleges offer multiple scholarships just for semi-finalists. Maria Regina guidance counselor Rosemarie Salavo said the last student who made the semifinals six years ago received a full ride to Fordham University.
If there's anyone at Maria Regina who deserves the scholarship, Salavo said, it's Marshall.
"She always stood out. She's just that type of person — a go-getter, an achiever and a really good person," Salavo said. "She's unbelievable."
It's rare for students at Maria Regina, a 527-student, all-girls Catholic high school at 500 W. Hartsdale Ave., to make the semi-finals. Usually, many students are just placed in the "Commended" category, Salavo said.
The 15-year-old junior said the money will help her reach her dream of attending a good college and becoming a doctor, especially since her mom struggles with a single income after Marshall's father died four years ago.
"My mom has a lot on her plate," she said. "I put a lot of effort into this, and it's really nice when your effort actually pays off."
Marshall has a lot on her plate, too — she's vice president of the student council and a member of the Power Squad, the school's fundraising program, the National Honors Society and the Science Honors society. She also volunteers at Lawrence Hospital Center in Bronxville.
Marshall said her No. 1 college choice is Sophie B. Davis, a Manhattan-based school that offers a 7-year program that focuses on biomedical education. She credits her school's teachers for helping prepare her for the PSATs.
She has also qualified for the National Achievement Scholarship, a National Merit Scholarship Corporation program that recognizes outstanding black high school students.
"In 10 years, I'll hopefully still be on the medical track," she said about reaching her dream. "I'll be starting my residency, and then hopefully, that'll be it."
Several Edgemont High School students also made the semifinals: Catherine Curtis, James Drain, Emma Kantor, Theodore Lee and Daniel Suh.