Local student is Natl Merit finalist

A local student is one of several thousand across the country who are finalists to receive a National Merit Scholarship.

Mara Borer, a home-schooled senior in high school, was put in the running for the scholarship after taking the PSAT. Her score was among the top 50,000 in the nation. The preliminary SAT is usually taken by students during their sophomore or junior year. Borer said preparing for and taking the test was helpful in advance of the SAT.

“Even if you’re not thinking you’re eligible for the scholarship, I would say definitely take the PSAT. It’s good preparation for the SAT. Take advantage of all the prep books, classes, anything you can take,” Borer said. “It really helped, and I really felt more confident when I was doing it.”

Once Borer was notified that she was in the running for the National Merit Scholarship as a semi-finalist, she had to take certain steps to continue toward the $2,500 scholarship. She had to write an essay, fill out an application that discusses grades and extra curricular activities and have a recommendation from a teacher. Even though Borer is home-schooled, she said that LuAnn Garvey, of Webster City High School, wrote her a recommendation as Borer has taken part in several plays at the school.

The winners of the scholarship will be announced in April. While Borer awaits the possible financial assistance and honor that the scholarship bestows, she said that getting this far in the process is proof enough that her hard work has payed off.

“Being a home schooler, you don’t always see you scores compared to other people. I don’t always have a good measure of how I do compared to other people. So, seeing this helps me know I am smart, I am capable in the real world.”