Seniors Named National Merit Finalists

Villa Maria Academy seniors Julia Lee and Lauren O’Donnell have been named National Merit Scholarship Finalists. Finalists are chosen from the approximately 16,000 semifinalists named in the fall, and must have maintained high academic standards and met other qualifications. About 1.5 million students enter the competition nationally by taking the PSAT in their junior year.

In addition to being named National Merit Scholarship finalists, the students have a number of other achievements on their high school resumes.

Lauren O’Donnell, a senior, is a National Merit Semifinalist, a two-time Gold Medalist in the National French Contest and recipient of the Harvard Prize Book Award. She is a member of both the National Honor Society and Math National Honor Society, and is President of the French National Honor Society. At Villa Maria, she is President of the French Club, and a member of the Student Integrity Committee, the Pennsylvania Math League, the Biology Club, the Mandarin Club and the varsity swimming team. She also is a volunteer at the Kinney Center at St. Joseph’s University. She plans to attend Johns Hopkins University in the fall.

Julia Lee plays the cello and is president of the school’s Orchestra, is vice president of the National Honor Society, and is a member of the Yearbook Writing Staff, Model UN, Pennsylvania Math League, Book Club, Tri-M Music Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. Julia has also participated in the Annenberg Science Symposium, in which she researched the modern medical advancement of mind-controlled prosthetics.

From March through June, finalists in the program may be selected to win one of several types of program scholarships: National Merit® $2500 Scholarships, corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards, and college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards.