One Venice High Student Out Of Seven Scholars In LAUSD Receives National Merit Scholarship

Ellie Zamir, Co-Managing Editor

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Senior Lidia Prokopovych-Shchepetkin received the National Merit Scholarship this year, one of seven from the second-largest school district in the nation, LAUSD.

Prokopovych-Shchepetkin was considered for the scholarship by scoring high on the PSAT in 2021. The top scorers of the state become a semi-finalist. 

Prokopovych-Shchepetkin received 1510 out of 1520 on her PSAT. Prokopovych-Shchepetkin and others from LAUSD were selected for their high scores a year later; then, she was offered an opportunity to proceed with an application process. 

She said the application to become a National Merit Scholar is similar to college applications, as it required extracurriculars, an essay, a recommendation letter along with an SAT or ACT test score. 

Prokopovych-Shchepetkin mentioned that the essay she wrote for the application is what she used for her Common Application submission for a variety of schools.

“I was so proud of my essay that I made it my Common App essay,” she said.

The SAT score at the semi-finalist stage is reviewed and if it is as high, if not higher than the PSAT score, then one may be considered a finalist. 

“Around 16,000 high school students are recognized as semi-finalists nationwide and from there 15,000 are a finalist,” Prokopovych-Shchepetkin said. 

Prokopovych-Shchepetkin plans to use the $2,500 she received to further her studies at MIT, where she plans to go to college. 

“The big thing about this scholarship is that you can apply to corporate scholarships—there are certain companies that say that if you are a National Merit Scholar, you can apply to our scholarships,” she said. 

Prokopovych-Shchepetkin will leverage her National Merit Scholarship to help her secure more scholarships in the future.