Q: Why did you choose to apply for the National Merit Scholarship program through PPG? How did you learn about the PPG Foundation scholarship program?
A: The main reason I chose to apply for the National Merit Scholarship program through PPG was that my father has worked for PPG for almost 30 years and is very proud of the scholarship program PPG has created, and he wanted me to try and be a part of this prestigious honor.
Q: How did you prepare for the PSAT/NMSQT?
A: I prepared for the PSAT by using an SAT book my parents still had from my brother’s college application process. I also used Khan Academy as it was more topic-focused and specialized on the aspects of math and reading I had a harder time with.
Q: What was the most difficult or nerve-wracking part of the application process and why?
A: The most difficult portion of applying for this scholarship is definitely the wait time. Although, it can be easy to forget about scholarships while you wait for college decisions, wondering if a score from your junior year of high school is good enough causes some anxiety and stress.
Q: What advice do you have for future students who are applying?
A: I would recommend for future applicants that they begin studying early for the PSAT, because the more they study in the months leading up to the test, the better prepared they are for both the PSAT and the SAT in the following months.
Q: Where are you attending college? What do you plan to major in? Why did you choose this field of study?
A: I am attending the University of Pittsburgh as a Chemistry major with a Biological Sciences focus. Since my university does not offer a biochemistry degree, this path of study was a way I could continue studying both sciences throughout my undergraduate career.
Q: What are some of your goals for the next four years?
A: Some of my academic goals for the next four years include working on a research project where I get to have an authorship credit at the end, specifically in the field of neural and DNA defects, earning a place in a medical school program, and graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with both departmental and University honors.
Q: What motivated you to excel throughout high school? Which of your accomplishments have meant the most to you?
A: My main motivation in high school was the prospect of freedom; early on in my high school career I realized that the more I succeeded, the more options I would have after high school to study what and where I wanted. I think the accomplishment that has meant the most to me, now as a sophomore in college, were the things I was involved in outside of the classroom: the clubs I joined, the volunteer opportunities I had, and the work experience I obtained have had the greatest impact on shaping who I am today.
Q: What advice do you have for students who will compete in the upcoming scholarship program?
A: My advice for students competing in the future scholarship programs is to remember that high school is only one phase of your life. Make sure to pull your nose out of a textbook every once in a while, and get involved in your community and in the things that interest you. Looking back on high school, seeing all the good you have done will hold a greater impact than your GPA.
Q: What does receiving this scholarship from the PPG Foundation mean to you?
A: Receiving the scholarship from the PPG Foundation has allowed me to study at the college of my dreams in the program of my dreams, making the PPG Foundation a huge stepping stone on my way to professional and personal success.