(Moline, IL) Recently, Jennifer Dawkins, senior at Moline High School was named National Merit Scholarship Finalist. The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition that begins in a student's sophomore year when students take the PSAT exam. Eligible students must have a consistent record of very high academic performance throughout their entire high school career, plan on enrolling as a full-time college student, be a citizen of the United States and be endorsed by a designated high school official. In October of 2012, approximately 1,500,000 students entered the competition. From there, 50,000 High Scores are advanced to 'qualification statuses'. In September of 2013, approximately two-thirds of these students are recognized as 'Commended Students'. Last August, Ms. Dawkins was recognized as being part of the other third that advanced to the Semi-Finalist level. Recently, Jen was informed that she has, once again advanced to the Finalist level and will be a recipient of either a Special Scholarship or Merit Scholarship. 1,300 Special Scholarships will be awarded by corporate sponsors. 8,300 Merit Scholarship winners will be awarded one of three types of National Merit Scholarships. The winners of these scholarships will be announced in April, May, and July.
As a student at Moline High School, Jen has made numerous efforts to improve the culture of our school. She has a natural heart for looking after others, and she serves others wherever is able. In her efforts to help, she has volunteered at our Special Olympics and has been involved with National Honor Society. As a member of NHS, Jen has collaboratively worked with other members of our school to raise money to clothe children in need this past holiday season. In addition to impacting student needs, Jen's passion for health occupations has led her to initiate the idea of starting a Health Occupation Students of America chapter for our school. Thanks to her efforts, our staff has begun taking steps to add this program to our extra-curricular activities. This chapter will be highly beneficial for future students wishing to pursue work in the health field.
Not only is Jen an outstanding citizen, she is an exceptional athlete! She has been a highly sought after tutor and mentor to her cross-country teammates. She has been capable of managing her time and efforts in order to assist her teammates on and off the practice fields. Her cross-country coach, Tauwon Taylor, said, "She has strong leadership skills and is determined to be successful! She is captain of the cross-country team and leads by example. Her determination and work ethic helped her team win the conference title four years in a row!" In addition to all of these successes, Jen has participated in youth activities at Our Savior Lutheran Church, participates in multiple road races, and finds time to bake, workout, and spend time with friends and family. In the fall, Jennifer plans on attending a four-year college to major in Bio-medical Engineering.