Downey High senior Christine Tran is one of 16,000 students in the nation qualified as a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholar competition this year and the only Downey student to accomplish this feat.The 16-year-old Tran is actually a year younger than most of her peers since she chose to skip the seventh grade as part of an advanced program at her private school. Tran has no trouble blending in with her peers and keeping up with academics, as she is currently No. 2 in her senior class and has been a member of the California Scholastic Federation for four years. Tran excels in math and science and has previously received multiple nominations for these categories at the annual Viking Awards. She is also enrolled in rigorous AP (Advanced Placement) classes such as AP English and AP Chemistry and is an active student on campus by participating in many extra-curricular activities. Tran has been a member of both Key Club and Junior Statesmen of America for four years and has played on the school's tennis team for three years. She volunteers her time at the Downey Regional Medical Center, hoping to pursue her dream in working in the medical field, particularly pharmaceutical sciences. With college applications deadlines approaching in almost a month, Tran says she is planning her future for college and hopes to attend either UCLA or USC to study to become a pharmacist. Whatever path Tran chooses to take for her future, she is sure to succeed based on her academic achievements. Eligibility to participate in this prestigious academic program is based off the students' PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholar Qualifying Test) scores typically in their junior year. Students with outstanding performance on this exam may qualify for scholarships, depending on the level of the competition.
********** Published: October 16, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 26