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Pitman student is semi-finalist in National Merit Scholarship
Pitman High senior Sarah Staley is a semi-finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. She plans on attending University of California, Davis to become a neurosurgeon. - photo by Photo Contributed
Receiving one of the highest scores in the state on her Preliminary SAT test, Pitman High senior Sarah Staley is one of 16,000 semi-finalists in the country to win a National Merit Scholarship.
Staley has the opportunity to become one of 8,200 National Merit Scholarship winners next spring, who will receive more than $36 million in scholarship funds.
Being a semi-finalist for the National Merit Scholarship though, is just a beginning step into excellence with her goals and dreams when every Ivy League school has personally requested Staley attend their university next year.
Regardless of constant request letters from Ivy League schools, Staley has her heart set on the University of California, Davis, to explore the medical programs that they offer, said Renate Staley, her mother. Sarah wants to be a neurosurgeon one day.
With her passion for the mind, Sarah is really excited about the Center for Mind and Brain that UC Davis opened in 2002, Renate said.
“She is well suited for a neurosurgeon position with her perseverance and her love for detail,” she said. “She has all the traits for that position.”
Along with the traits of a life-saving doctor, Sarah is known for her kind and humble personality. She is very quiet and modest but most importantly she enjoys the company of others as well as helping friends, Renate said.
In about a month, Sarah plans on applying for UC Davis, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara, Renate said. She wants to stay on the West coast, preferably in California.
Before she heads off to college, Sarah has been enjoying her time in high school by staying busy and active. She is the president of the InterAct club which is an international club on campus, she is part of the Teens in Action program and she is on the associated student body for Pitman High School. She also played softball and tennis.
With her sights set high for the future, right now Sarah’s focus is on the National Merit Scholarship.
Originally born and raised in South Africa, Sarah has about a 90 percent chance to become a finalist and a 50 percent chance to become a National Merit Scholarship winner, according to statistics provided by a press release.
National Merit Scholarship winners of 2010 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July, according to a press release.
To contact Maegan Martens, email or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.