BHS student chosen for national honor

Published 5:00 am Thursday, October 1, 2009

Brookhaven High School senior Amber Grady is a normal17-year-old girl, balancing her time between school and band andfriends, but she is among 1,600 distinguished teens in the countrywho just received the distinction of being a National AchievementSemifinalist.

There are only 25 National Achievement Semifinalists inMississippi this year, and Grady, who consistently makes A’s, saidshe is pleased to be among them.

“I’m actually surprised and honored to be in the top 1,600,” shesaid. “I didn’t think I was that smart.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

BHS Principal Dr. Jay Smith said school officials are proud ofGrady for her achievement as well.

“Anytime we’re recognized with a national honor it brings a lotof notoriety and attention to our schools,” he said. “We welcomeany national honor that recognizes our students, and we appreciatethe National Merit Corporation for recognizing Amber.

The National Achievement Scholarship Program, is a privatelyfinanced academic competition that operates without governmentassistance. It was initiated in 1964 to recognize academicallypromising black students throughout the nation and to providescholarships to a substantial number of the most outstandingprogram participants.

Grady is the daughter of Emma Coleman, of Brookhaven, and saidshe hopes to be an endocrinologist when she grows up. She said thatchoice is based on her love for science.

“It’s very logical,” she said. “It’s a lot of studying, andthere are a lot of different areas you can go into.”

Grady also participates on two academic teams, band, and theLatin club. She said her time is split between those things and asocial life, but that she finds time to keep her grades up justbefore bed.

“I usually study at night, after I’m done with everything else,”she said.

And she hopes her grades and involvement along with honors suchas the National Achievement Semifinalist distinction, will help herwith her plans to go into pre-med at Mississippi College or theUniversity of Mississippi.

“I just try to work hard and be involved,” she said.

According to National Merit Corporation statistics, to date,more than 29,500 students have received Achievement Scholarshipawards worth $94 million. Approximately 1,300 Semifinalists areexpected to advance to the Finalist level in the 2010 program. AllAchievement Scholar awardees will be selected from the finalistgroup on the basis of their abilities, accomplishments, andpotential for success in rigorous college studies.