West Feliciana High School senior Ngozi Nwabueze was honored at the March 17 School Board meeting for being named a National Merit Scholarship finalist.

Superintendent Hollis Milton presented Nwabueze with her official National Merit Scholarship certificate and praised her for her hard work and dedication to her academics.

More than 1.5 million students applied in September for National Merit consideration, which is based on the PSAT test they took as juniors that measures critical reading, mathematics and writing skills. Roughly 50,000 are selected for commendation, and of that number, 16,000 are chosen as National Merit semifinalists.

In February, 15,000 students were notified that they advanced to finalist standing.

Scholarship winners are notified in June and chosen from the finalists group based on their abilities, skills and accomplishments including academic records, test scores, recommendations, leadership, a biography and an essay. The National Merit Scholarships are $2,500 apiece and are awarded to approximately 7,600 finalists.

“I got a letter a few weeks ago saying I was a finalist. I was jumping up and down and when I told my parents, they were jumping up and down,” Nwabueze said.

Her parents are Dr. Nnamdi Nwabueze and Dr. Stacie Nwabueze.

Ngozi Nwabueze said she hasn’t decided where she will attend college, although she’s narrowed her choices to Rice, Emory, Vanderbilt or Duke. She plans to study neuroscience or something related to psychology.

“The brain and how it relates to how we are,” said Nwabueze.

She leads a busy life. Besides her academics, Nwabueze is Student Government president and a member of the Interact Club, Beta Club, Quiz Bowl and Mock Trial teams. She also played soccer this year and was a volunteer coach on a 16-year-old and younger team.

Nwabueze is one of four children. Her brother, Obi, is studying at Tulane Medical School, and her sister, Nkechi, is at Rice. Her younger sister, Nneka, attends West Feliciana High School.