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Local students win national merit scholarships

A trio of students from Johnson County is among the approximately 7,500 people in the United States to win a National Merit Scholarship.

Franklin Community High School Senior Wil McGuinness, Home School Student, Greenwood Residents Julia Johnson and Justincia, Former Center Grove High School Student, currently attending the Indiana Academy of Sciences, Mathematics and Anthropology in Muncie.

To qualify for the scholarship, students posted their scores to the top 1% of the PSAT. They had to fill out an application containing a personal essay and provide an academic transcript and ACT or SAT score showing continued proficiency.

Will McGuinness submit a photo?

McGuinness, the only student attending Johnson County High School to receive a scholarship, plans to go to DePauw University to major in economics or political science.

This process took about a year and a half, he said.

“I took the PSAT at the beginning of my third year and then took part in the semi-final round earlier this year,” said McGuinness. “At the beginning of this winter, we found out that we were finalists. A few weeks ago, they sent a letter to all the actual scholarship recipients, so about a year and a half. It was a process. “

He said that going to college with financial support would provide McGuinness with the relief he needed.

“Being one of the only people to get this in Johnson County is a big problem for me,” McGuinness said. “Obviously, getting into college lately is a big financial problem. I’m filling out scholarship applications on the left and right, so even a little money can help. This is how many years of work Not only does it reflect what was rewarded, but it helps me to know that I have that money, and that it’s $ 2,500 less than my parents, and I have to pay the college. “

While attending school, McGuinness attended the National Honor Society, Mayor Franklin’s Youth Leadership Council, and the Harvard Model Conference and was a member of the Youth Varsity Golf Team.

Originally from Greenwood, Xia attended Center Grove High School between first and second grades before transferring to Muncie’s boarding school, the Indiana Academy of Sciences, Mathematics and Anthropology.

Photo submitted by Justincia

In high school, he said he was deeply involved in extracurricular activities during the summer.

“I was on the Center Grove swimming team and attended the school I am attending. I started playing soccer at this school. I am one of the presidents of the Asian Student Union and the Academic Super Bowl. I did a bowl, “Xia said.

Xia then heads to Atlanta to study computer science at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“It’s in Atlanta, a big city with lots of opportunities. It has a lot of people and it’s very well received in computer science,” says Xia. “I’m really happy to receive the (scholarship). It’s multifaceted and there’s not only a test, but also an application process to pass it. I’m glad I did it.”

Homeschooling student Julia Johnson received scholarship news in late March after completing the application form. This included a list of her activities and volunteer activities, essays, and answers to demographic questions. In her essay, she discussed why she wanted to pursue her service career, Johnson said in her email.

Julia Johnson Submission Photo

“First, I’ll explain how my parents managed group homes and inspired me to help people who were less fortunate than me,” she said. “Next, I’ll explain how the service done by the youth group helped me realize that I wanted to have a career in serving others. For families with stillborn babies. , Making ceramic hearts, butterflies, and jars. A year after joining the ministry, I became the coordinator. Finally, the hand injuries I received during the gymnastics and the kindness of the occupational therapist. Looking back on how he was inspired to pursue a career as a coordinator to help others heal. “

Johnson has accepted an offer from the University of Indianapolis. The tuition is covered by the National Merit Scholarship and the University President’s Scholarship. She plans to study exercise science before earning her PhD in physiotherapy.

“I am very honored to receive this scholarship and am grateful for the fact that I can share the joy of others in my community,” she said.