Two Douglas seniors take prestigous award in stride

Douglas High School seniors Jessica Reynolds and David Williams were named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship program.

They are two of 8,200 students in the 99th percentile of schools across the country, based on test scores, grade point averages and essays all participants had to submit.

"It's quite an honor to have them here," said Douglas High counselor Vanessa Ozolins. "They are fantastic, high-caliber students. They are not just smart. They have character to match their intelligence."

Ozolins said since being recognized, the students have been bombarded with scholarship offers from universities.

"They can sit back now, see where the money comes from and decide which school is the way to go," she said. "Not a bad problem to have."

Williams said he's received scholarship offers from schools he's never even heard of. But one school he particularly likes offered to pay half his tuition.

"University of Southern California offered to pay half, so I would need to come up with the other $16,000 a year," he said.

Williams said he'll be looking into financial aid, but if he can't afford USC, he'll consider Arizona State University, which has offered him a full-ride scholarship.

Williams wants to study biochemistry and Spanish, then attend medical school.

"It's rewarding to have your hard work pay off," he said.

Reynolds will be going to University of Nevada, Reno with a full-ride scholarship, though she received lucrative offers from other schools.

"University of Oklahoma offered me $82,000 and a lap top," she said. "But who wants to go to Oklahoma?"

Reynolds plans on studying math and music, then going to graduate school. She hopes to work on developing strong music and theater programs in publics schools.

"Take school seriously," she said. "Don't underestimate your abilities."


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