2014 SAS National Achievement, Hispanic and Merit Scholars
Photo Back row from left: Robert Saylor, Natalie Becerra, John Worthley, Andrea Villa, Marko Lazovic, Stephanie Brohee, Alaisha Alexander, and SAS Principal Dr. Omar Monteagudo. Front row from left: Rebecca Lester, Neylis Sanchez, Tia Aquart, Cedric Estelhomme
Miami, March 18, 2014 -
The accolades for students at MDC's School of Advanced Studies (SAS) continue to roll in. The latest wave includes 11 SAS seniors across four MDC campuses who have tallied awards in hotly contested nationwide scholarship contests.
National Merit Scholars, National Achievement Scholars and National Hispanic Recognition Scholars are an elite group of superior academic performers. Selected from the very top scorers on the PSAT, potential scholars are then further vetted for excellence via reviews of their grades and extracurricular activity. These scholars represent the top flight high school students from across the country.
"These awards are highly sought after, not just because there is scholarship money attached to many of the awards, but because the top universities want to attract these students." explained Dennis Lindsay, Enrollment Coordinator at SAS. "The Ivy League schools, Duke, MIT and others are looking for these types of students. You might have applied to Yale, and they find out in January you're a National Merit Scholar and because of that new information, they decide to admit you. It makes sense; you belong at a school like that."
SAS Principal Dr. Omar Monteagudo points out how "SAS has prided itself in developing scholars who have distinguished themselves by attaining these notable accolades. Our school has enacted various initiatives aimed at enhancing student critical thinking, writing and mathematics skills. The fruits of this labor is reflected in the ever increasing number of students who have attained National Merit Scholar, National Hispanic Scholar and National Achievement Scholar designation."
Cedrick Estelhomme, a National Achievement Scholar from SAS North, has already received notice of a $2,500 college scholarship award. Others are awaiting further scholarship announcements and finalizing their decisions on where they will be studying next year.
"It is an honor to be designated as a National Hispanic Scholar and I look forward to future opportunities to excel in my studies. It is my hope to use this experience to further distinguish myself as a leader and role model in my community," said Natalie Becerra, a scholar from the SAS Homestead campus.
SAS has a unique program that not only produces outstanding scholars, but can also provide graduates a competitive advantage in collegiate achievement. Along with a high school diploma, around 90 percent of SAS students receive an associate's degree as well. In doing so, SAS students leapfrog the transition to college by earning on average about half the credits they will need for a bachelor's degree while still at SAS. In addition, SAS students can take highly challenging advanced placement courses and garner further college credits.
"The scholarship finalist status means a lot as one of those rare moments of validation in which you can know you have accomplished something noteworthy" said Marko Lazovic, an SAS student at Wolfson who as a National Merit Scholar. "It provides drive to work even harder in school and maintain the standard of what that status represents."