BA senior is National Merit Scholarship semifinalist

Published 4:00 pm Saturday, September 17, 2022

Brookhaven Academy student Kyla R. Armistad as been named a semifinalist in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program. She is the only Lincoln County student to make the 2023 semifinals.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation officials announced Wednesday the names of more than 16,000 semifinalists in the program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,250 scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must meet several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 95 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and approximately half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Armistad’s parents are understandably proud of her.

“We are very excited. Kyla has worked hard,” said her mother, Kendra. “And we are pleasantly surprised. We didn’t know what to expect after taking the test, it was so different from the ACT. We are extremely proud of her.”

Now the family is busy helping the senior fill out all of her scholarship applications and the other “next steps” of the NMS finalist requirements. Then it’s a waiting game, until the finalists are announced in the spring.

“We would love for her to actually become a finalist because of the scholarships, but we’re just going to do what we need to do and make sure she meets all the requirements, and hope and pray,” Kendra said. “But it’s just such an honor to be a semifinalist, especially from a little school here in Mississippi, in Lincoln County.”

Armistad’s father Nathaniel, a Brookhaven attorney, said they are grateful for her “little school,” too.

“The BA team does a good job there,” he said. “It’s a partnership between the school and the parents.”

It helps that his children are blessed to have a very intelligent mother, too, he added.

Armistad said she is unsure where she wants to go to college after graduating BA, but she wants to major in accounting and attend law school.

“I am just trusting God to help me make the right decision,” she said.

But she is still in shock that she made it this far in the scholarship selection process.

“I took the test last year. My mom had mentioned National Merit to me, but after not hearing anything following the test, I just forgot about it,” she said. “I wasn’t aware that they do not announce anything until the following year.”

The senior said she is grateful to God for giving her this opportunity, and now she’s busy working on her submissions for finals.

“I am going to give it my best shot. Whatever happens, happens!”

About the program

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 340 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2023 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join nearly 368,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.