The National Achievement Scholarship Program has announced that Chesterton
High School senior Matrika Laster is one of more than 1,600 Black American
high school seniors designated as Semifinalists in the annual Achievement
Scholarship® competition. These scholastically talented students now have an
opportunity to continue in the competition for approximately 800
scholarships worth over $2.5 million to be awarded next spring.
Laster, the daughter of Deidra Laster of Chesterton, is active in Japanese
club, Anime club, Creative Writers club and Japanese Olympiad. She plans to
attend Cornell University to study veterinary medicine.
The National Achievement Program, conducted by National Merit Scholarship
Corporation (NMSC), is a privately financed academic competition that
operates without government assistance. It was initiated in 1964 to
recognize promising black students throughout the nation and to provide
scholarships to a substantial number of the most outstanding participants.
To date, over 27,800 young men and women have received Achievement
Scholarship awards worth more than $88 million.
Approximately 1,300 Semifinalists are expected to fulfill additional
requirements and advance to the Finalist level in the 2013 program. All
National Achievement Scholars will be selected from the Finalist group on
the basis of their abilities, accomplishments, and potential for success in
rigorous college studies.
More than 140,000 high school juniors from all parts of the United States
requested consideration in the 2013 National Achievement Program when they
took the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).
Semifinalists were designated within geographic regions and are the
highest-scoring program entrants in the states that make up each region.
To advance to the Finalist level in the competition, Semifinalists must
present a record of high academic performance throughout high school, be
endorsed and recommended by the school principal, and earn SAT scores that
confirm the PSAT/NMSQT performance. Also, the Semifinalist and a school
official must complete a scholarship application in which they provide
information about the student’s participation in school and community
activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, and educational goals. The
considerable amount of information collected about each Finalist will be
used in the selection of scholarship winners.
Achievement Scholarship awards provided in 2013 will be supported by
corporations, foundations, professional organizations, and NMSC’s own funds.
Two types of scholarships will be offered. Every Finalist will be considered
for one of 700 National Achievement $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded
on a regional representation basis. In addition, about 100
corporate-sponsored Achievement Scholarship awards will be financed by
corporations, foundations, and professional organizations for Finalists who
meet criteria set by the grantor.
NMSC will release the names of scholarship winners to news media in early