Aubrey Brown of MacArthur High School and Isaiah Benny from Jack E. Singley Academy are among 16,000 students nationwide who have earned the honor of being named National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.  

To enter, a high school student must take the PSAT/NMSQT® at a local high school or approved location in the specified year of high school and meet NMSC’s published program participation requirements. A student’s scores determine whether they qualify to enter the National Merit® Scholarship Program.

“I think I found out about it like two weeks after the fact,” says Brown, “I had people emailing me and letting me know that I was on the announcements and I had no idea why. When I asked my teachers and they told me why, I was in shock! I was just really proud of myself because it came out of nowhere.”

Aubrey plans to attend Southern Methodist University (SMU), where she will play soccer and major in political science.

“I’m really into criminal justice, and I hope to one day become a judge,” says Brown. “This will set up a good path for me to take as I focus on pre-law.”

“It’s really just a confirmation of just how hard I’m working,” says Benny. “It’s also a sign that I’m really blessed to be where I am, having all the support that I have from my teachers, friends and family.”

Isaiah plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin, where he’ll major in statistics and data science.

“I’m a math person, but I’m also a debate person,” says Benny. “I think statistics provides a good combination of both, so I’m really attracted to pursue a career in that field.”

In order to advance, semi-finalists must complete an application, have a consistently high academic record, write an essay, be endorsed and recommended by a school official, and take the SAT® or ACT®, earning a score that confirms their PSAT/NMSQT performance.

National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists have a chance to become one of the 7,250 finalists who will take home scholarships worth a combined $28 million.

Irving ISD wishes Aubrey and Isaiah the best of luck!