Two receive National Hispanic Scholar recognition

Seniors+Monika+Rodriguez+and+Ben+Mora+are+recognized+as+National+Merit+Scholars+for+this+school+year.

The Magnet Tribune: Carolina Gamez

Seniors Monika Rodriguez and Ben Mora are recognized as National Merit Scholars for this school year.

Carolina Gamez and Lauren Melendez

Seniors Ben Mora and Monika Rodriguez were recognized for their academic success. They are National Hispanic Scholars, which means they scored in the top 2.5 percent of test takers on both the Preliminary SAT as well as the SAT.

The recognition speaks volumes of their academic achievements.

Rodriguez, whose fine arts area is dance, explained her reaction when she received the news.

There are a lot of online practice tests that I took advantage of, and I simulated the exam and the testing process.”

— Monika Rodriguez

“I was relieved because I took a lot of time to study for the test and it paid off,” she said.

The PSAT serves as an initial screening for the competition’s approximately 1.6 million entrants each year. Those who make it past this phase are considered semifinalists. Finalists are then selected based on SAT scores.

“I used a study guide. There are a lot of online practice tests that I took advantage of, and I simulated the exam and the testing process,” Rodriguez said when asked what she did to prepare for the exam.

For many, the SAT means stress and worry. For Mora and Rodriguez, it was a chance to bring all their hard work to life. Becoming a National Merit Scholar is definitely something to strive for, as it can set one apart from other college applicants.

Because of this achievement, both Mora and Rodriguez are being recognized as exemplary figures for J.W. Nixon High School and VMT, thus maintaining the reputation for excellence the schools have set forth.

“I’m proud to represent VMT, I’m proud to represent Nixon and show that we have smart students that can excel in the world,” Mora, who plays the trumpet, said.

When asked what advice he would give to those preparing for the exam, Mora said “Study. Study as much as you can. The better prepared you are, the higher chance you will have of actually getting a good score and being a National Merit Scholar.”

He explained the role teachers played in his accomplishments.

Study as much as you can. The better prepared you are, the higher chance you will have of actually getting a good score.”

— Ben Mora

“All my teachers have really been helpful in teaching me, and making sure that I was prepared,” Mora stated.

Rodriguez said Ashley Ramirez, a former VMT English teacher, contributed largely to her success.

“She taught me everything,” Rodriguez said.

Colleges across the nation have been aggressively admitting its members into their schools ever since the National Merit Scholarship Program was established in 1955,

Mora is contemplating attending The University of Texas at Austin, although he is still exploring other options. He plans to major in engineering.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez hopes to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and major in Biology with a concentration in pre-dental studies.