Three Lawton grads are National Merit Scholars

Lawton_Press Release_Three recent graduates from the Lawton Public Schools have been named recipients of National Merit Scholarships for 2008.

Tyler Behm from MacArthur High School, and Brooke Sheppard and David Van from Eisenhower High are among 6,400 outstanding high school seniors from around the country to receive Merit Scholarships, which are financed by companies, foundations, businesses, universities and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

The three were selected from students who advanced to the finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship Program and met the criteria of scholarship sponsors. Van qualified for a corporate-sponsored scholarship from Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, while Behm and Sheppard won $2,500 scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

The corporate scholarship presented to Van can be used at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university of his choice. Only 1,100 graduating high school seniors nationwide received corporate-sponsored scholarships. Corporate scholarships are typically renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $500-$10,000 per year. Some provide a single payment in the $2,500-$5,000 range. The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company typically presents its scholarship to seniors who are children of its employees.

Behm and Sheppard are among approximately 2,500 distinguished high school seniors who will receive $2,500 scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corp.  Winners were selected from a pool of 15,000 finalists, and were judged to have the strongest combination of skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.  They were selected from a committee made up of college admissions officials and high school counselors.

Behm will study mathematics in college and Sheppard's career choice is international business. Van has indicated an interest in a career in medicine.

The National Merit Program was founded in 1955. The majority of scholarships provided each year are made possible by the support of approximately 500 independent sponsors - 300 business organizations and 200 colleges and universities. These sponsors promote efforts to enhance educational opportunities for scholastically talented youth and to encourage them in their pursuit of academic excellence.

The program is conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance.