Student earns National Merit Scholarship Commendation


Kaye, Sommer

DECA members Anna Fischer along with Alexis Camilleri holding their state champion plaque.

Riley Coesens, Managing Editor

For many high school students, college is often a route that many individuals consider crucial toward their careers. After spending years sitting through countless classes, studying for tests, and preparing for one’s future, one test dominates as the precursor to a student’s next step: the SAT.

Though it is widely recognized that this test doesn’t ultimately determine a person’s success after high school, it also is understood that it has an impact on how various schools see their potential attendees.

Anna Fischer, Milford High School top student and National Merit Scholarship Commended scholar realized her potential to be noticed for her success at a national level, and took a chance on her own persistent commitment to academics. I

n return, Fischer has gained widespread recognition for her achievements and experience that will serve her well in her future.

Fischer  was one of approximately 34,000 students out of 1.5 million entrants honored for her  high test scores and academic excellence during the 2018-2019 school year. Her score qualified in the range of the top 3-4 percent on the organization’s own Selection Index.

The advantages to being a National Merit Scholarship Finalist are many, including (but not limited to) college scholarships, corporate sponsorships, invitations to honors programs, and national recognition.

In mid-October, juniors at MHS are offered the ability to take the PSAT/NMSQT, which is the test one must take to potentially qualify for the National Merit Scholarship. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) works to honor and recognize academically-talented students, as well as promote and stimulate respect and support for scholarly students and organizations.

Hard-working, motivated, individuals with high test scores and GPAs, like Fischer, are pushed to take this exam.

Fischer was encouraged by her counselor, Bev Groth, to sign up for it, because of her previous PSAT scores. Once she knew about the test, it wasn’t difficult to convince her.

“I knew that only a few thousand people actually win the scholarship, but I figured that it’s fun to have the challenge anyway,” she said. “I take great pride in my work and in my intelligence, and I find it very rewarding to work hard for something and see the results pay off.”

Fischer, someone who is always up for a challenge and “genuinely enjoys learning for the sake of learning,” was excited by the prospect of expanding her horizons.

One cannot reap the benefits of something as impactful as the National Merit Scholarship without putting in many hours of study and effective time management. With a positive attitude and bright outlook on how preparing for the exam would impact her, Fischer realized that only good could come from her efforts, and that it would only make her better to try.

“It might seem trivial to do all this work for a scholarship you may or may not get and that might not initially seem to ‘mean much in the long run,’ but I couldn’t disagree more,” she said. “Every time you work at something you’re opening doors.”

In addition, Fischer learned to pay attention to not only the subjects of the questions but studying her strategy. After taking many practice tests and analyzing broad concepts and how things were worded, she felt that she could better assess her own strengths and weaknesses.

As a self-driven individual, Fischer embraces other aspects of learning into her life outside of her primarily Advanced Placement and Honors courses; she is a part of the MHS DECA chapter, representing her school as Chapter President this school year. She also works with Students Leading Students, which helps to inspire positive, rewarding change and valuable lessons and skills in the Milford community.

Kaye Sommer, Fischer’s DECA Advisor and teacher attributes her success to her, “superior work quality and ability to organize and calendar,” as well as her willingness to take suggestions from her teachers and peers alike, as she considers anyone a “teacher.”

Though striving for her successes has always been her own choice, Fischer is thankful for the never-ending support her parents have given her along the way. Like her parents, she recognizes that she must push herself, make her own choices, and learn from her mistakes in order to move forward with her aspirations. Their love, support, and praise help her to keep going, but ultimately it is her dreams that fuel her the most. Her mind is always looking forward for ways to improve, stand out, and get a few steps closer to her goals, like living on a beach. By making herself educated and involved, Fischer continues to push herself every day.

“I think what most kids don’t understand is that you own your life and you can create your future. It’s all in your hands, and you get to decide what you want to do with it. With a solid education as my foundation, I can get into my dream college, and ultimately find a job that I’m passionate about, enjoy doing, and that supports the lifestyle that I want to have.”