Westerville Central Student Awarded As National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalist

Meet Sarah! Sarah is an exceptional young lady who is not only incredibly intelligent but is also heavily involved in her community. She is a member of National Honor Society, Key Club, Spanish Club and Board Game Club. Outside of her extracurricular activities at school, Sarah has worked as a ZooAide for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, volunteered at the Westerville Public Library’s Summer Reading Program and worked at the Stratford Ecological Center. In addition to all of these activities, Sarah works eight hours a week at Kroger in their Click List department.

As a junior, Sarah was invited by Nationwide Children’s Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders to participate in a panel discussion at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Nearly 80 medical students converged to hear from a panel of four people who are on the autism spectrum. “Not only did the students learn about autism, but they also saw me as more than my disorder,” Sarah shared.

While Sarah works and is very involved in a variety of clubs, she has made time for her schoolwork and done quite well. Sarah has an accumulative GPA of 4.6251 and was recently notified that she is a semifinalist for a National Merit® Scholarship. In her application for the National Merit®Scholarship Program, Sarah wrote about her journey through autism. At the end of her essay Sarah wrote the following:

“I may always struggle with regulating my emotions and fitting in, but whenever I doubt myself, I only have to reflect on my past to see how far I have come. My challenges were great, but my past has paved the way for my future success. As I did on the panel, I can continue sharing my story to inspire others to always improve, no matter how difficult change may seem.”

After high school, Sarah plans to attend either Miami University or The Ohio State University to study zoology and conservation. We asked Sarah what advice she has for others who are considering college and she said, “Go for it! Lots of colleges have disability support programs.” Wherever she chooses to attend, the school will be lucky to have her!

Best of luck to our National Merit® Scholarship semifinalist, Sarah! You’re a success and inspiration to us no matter the outcome of the award.