WHS’s O’Brien Named Semifinalist in 2014 National Merit® Scholarship Program

Post date: Nov 15, 2013 2:32:2 PM

Wells High School senior Kyle O’Brien of Wells has been named a Semifinalist in the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program. He achieved this status by scoring highly on the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test or PSAT/NMSQT® in his junior year.

According to a press release from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), approximately 1.5 million high school juniors from over 22,000 high schools took the PSAT/NMSQT® in 2012. Based upon test results, 16,000 were selected to become Semifinalists.

“It’s definitely pretty cool to know that I am the only one in the school,” responded O’Brien when asked what it was like to become a Semifinalist.

According to NMSC, Semifinalists have the opportunity to compete over the coming months to be among the 15,000 Finalists selected in the spring to qualify for roughly 8,000 National Merit Scholarships, worth around $35 million.

“About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title,” stated the NMSC press release.

O’Brien says he plans to study Engineering when he graduates from high school but is undecided as to what college he will attend. When asked what he would eventually like to do after college he indicated that that time was too far away to know but added, “I am excited to see where I am headed.”

The National Merit Scholarship Program is administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation of Evanston, Illinois. It is a non-profit corporation established in 1955. Scholarship money awarded by the NMSC comes largely from corporate and college sponsorship.

During his high school career O’Brien has run on the WHS Cross Country Team every year and has been the Captain of the Team for the past two years. He has also been on the WHS Indoor and Outdoor Track Team and has played Ultimate Frisbee at WHS.

O’Brien was recognized for becoming a Semifinalist by the WOCSD School Committee at their regular meeting on November 6th. Kyle O’Brien is the son of Donna O’Brien.

Caption: Kyle O’Brien standing outside of Wells High School recently.