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Senior achieves rank of National Merit Semifinalist

Rooney+is+just+one+of+several+semifinalists.+The+program+recognizes+young+scholars+and+helps+them+afford+college.
Rooney is just one of several semifinalists. The program recognizes young scholars and helps them afford college.

Rooney is just one of several semifinalists. The program recognizes young scholars and helps them afford college.

Kelly Salinas

Kelly Salinas

Rooney is just one of several semifinalists. The program recognizes young scholars and helps them afford college.

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Every year thousands of students take the PSAT, but some stand out above the rest. Senior Abby Rooney is no exception, awarded National Merit Semifinalist with a near perfect score. She is much more than just her score, however, as  Co- President of Future Business Leaders of America, President of Science Olympiad and ranked in the top 10 students of her class.

“I was so excited,” Rooney said. “When I took the PSAT I spent a lot of time studying.”

When the news of her selection as a National Merit Semifinalist reached Abby Rooney, she was beyond thrilled. The highly prestigious award, given to only the highest achievers, is based on score. To move further in the program, however, an application process is required.

“For semifinalist, they do it based on score,” Rooney said. “If your score is high enough, then you are a semifinalist. You then have to turn in an essay, your counselor has to write you a letter of recommendation, take the SAT before December and send it in, and you have to fill out your resume.”

Rooney, like many other scholars, has other motives than just the award itself. The National Merit Scholarship can alleviate some of the financial burden higher education can have, and that relief was a goal of Rooney’s.

“When I was taking the PSAT I spent a lot of time studying because I needed this money,” Rooney said. “I was writing my little essay, and I did the math, and it came out that each word I wrote was worth $160.”

The National merit distinction is just one of her achievements. The FBLA co-president impacts not only her team, but the state as well. As the secretary of the State Action Team, an elected board of Texas FBLA student leaders, her efforts extend to more than just the state of Texas.

“We have this thing called our ‘Program of Work’,” Rooney said. “There’s three parts to it this year. One: making sure people from Texas do better in their competitive events at nationals, two: our state community service project, ‘operation shoebox’, which involves sending stuff to our troops and three: to have more members this year than last year.”

In addition to her extracurricular activities, Rooney’s academic schedule is filled to the brim, with six AP classes. She  loves learning, and her work is tailored to her ambitions. Rooney has her sights set on a solution for the future.

“I want to be a chemical engineer and work in the energy sector, either petrochemical or renewables,” Rooney said. “Coal has ended, oil is in the process of ending and we’re moving into natural gas, which isn’t going to last forever. You really have to think about the future of not just energy, but the products you make.”

While her schedule might be hectic, Rooney takes it in stride. The senior takes pride in everything she does, and has a solid foundation for what she wants to achieve.

“The thing is, I’m my own biggest critic, and the things that I do, I do to be proud of myself,” Rooney said.

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The student media of Cinco Ranch High School
Senior achieves rank of National Merit Semifinalist