Four WFISD Seniors celebrate National Merit Recognition

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— Four of the brightest minds in the WFISD have something great to look forward to as they embark on their next academic adventure—college.

“It’s a one-and-done kind of thing you can’t retake it so I consider myself really lucky,” National Merit semifinalist Manasvi Reddy said.

Rider High students Matthew Bitz, Risha Parmar and Manasvi Reddy, along with Kofi Agyepong from Hirschi each scored in the top 1.25% on the college board PSAT when they tested as juniors, qualifying them as National Merit semifinalists in the College Board’s 2021 National Merit Scholarship program contest.

“College is expensive,” says Paramar, “and then colleges like A&M, they offer merit scholarships so it’s nice knowing I’ll have that opportunity.”

“My counselor talked to me and I wanted to start running but I was in class so I couldn’t,” Agyepong adds.

This process spans throughout their educational career and is an honor that means so much to each student, but it wasn’t a cake walk. The hardest part is the waiting game that comes after.

“I was nervous in the waiting period just because it’s a really long time, it’s like a couple months before you get the test results,” Parmar said.

Once you get the results, there’s still a wait-and-see period during the college board’s official cut off score. Yet, after all the agony and waiting, Kofi Agyepong, Matthew Bitz, Risha Parmar and Manasvi Reddy are in elite company.

“It sets apart a group of students that really values going above and beyond from a really young age because it’s not something you can cram for at the last minute,” Reddy said.

“I’ve been taking PSAT’s since 7th grade, so one every year and prepped for the SAT this year, specifically for college apps, I think just working hard on english and math classes so it was cool to see it come through.”

Next step — more waiting. This time, to see if they qualify for national merit finalist.
Something that brings unique scholarship opportunities and exposure to these students and help them pay for a future they deserve.

Reddy and the others added they couldn’t have done any of it without a support system of family, friends and teachers throughout the area.

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