Ouray Student Is National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist
by Samantha Wright
Oct 14, 2012 | 1355 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
EXCEPTIONAL – Ouray High School senior Patrick Link and National Merit Scholar semifinalist at home in Ouray. (Courtesy photo)
EXCEPTIONAL – Ouray High School senior Patrick Link and National Merit Scholar semifinalist at home in Ouray. (Courtesy photo)
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OURAY – Ouray High School senior Patrick Link is a semifinalist for the the National Merit Scholarship Program. The program honors individual students across the nation who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

At Ouray School, Link has developed a reputation for excellence, inspiring fellow students and teachers alike.

"Patrick Link excels in all he does,” said longtime Ouray School teacher and librarian Nancy Nixon. “He is a multi-tasker of extraordinary caliber. I have heard him say he doesn't think he could take on too much! Wow. We are super proud of him at Ouray High School."

Now that Link has been identified as a semifinalist, his next step will be to submit a detailed scholarship application providing information about his academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, and honors and awards received.

Link has amassed an impressive resume of extracurricular achievements over his brief high school career (he’s on an academic fast-track that allowed him to skip one year). In 2011, he participated in a medical mission trip to Kenya through Baylor University. For two summers in a row, he attended the Center for Bright Kids at the Colorado School of Mines, taking college-level classes in psychology and computer programming. He is an Eagle Scout and member of the National Honor Society. He often volunteers to operate the sound and lighting board for Weehawken Creative Arts performances, as well as at his church. He has competed at state in cross country, Knowledge Bowl, Science Olympiad and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America).

Careerwise, his mother, Katie, reports that her son is “leaning toward mechanical or aerospace engineering” and is considering applying to the Air Force Academy, where he recently did a summer seminar. His older brother, an OHS grad, currently attends West Point Military Academy; his little sister, Abbie, is a middle schooler in Ouray.

“Jim and I are extremely proud of Patrick for all of his accomplishments and his persistent integrity,” said Patrick’s mother.

About 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.

From the approximately 16,000 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level and in February they will be notified of this designation. Some 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million will be offered next spring. Winners will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance. It 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 440 business organizations and higher education institutions. 

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