Two Friendship Christian School students proved their academic prowess after they were informed last month they are National Merit Scholar finalists.
Students who qualify for the National Merit Scholars represent less than 1 percent of graduating seniors in the U.S., and both of Friendship’s offering this year shares more than just a common bond.
Twin sisters and Friendship seniors Alex and Katie Pulliam said they are “excited” and “thrilled” they were chosen. Alex said “we’re thrilled, as are our parents.”
Both girls have chosen to go to Vanderbilt University in the fall. According to their mother, Jacque Pulliam, the scholarships offered through the National Merit Scholars can vary from full tuition to between $4,000-$5,000. It depends on the school chosen, as well as other factors.
“University of Texas at Austin offered them full tuition and fees plus $8,000 a semester,” Jacque said.
Vanderbilt will be paying for room and board. Jacque said the amounts typically depend on the level of the school.
“We’re very proud of the girls. They have worked very hard to excel in academics,” said Jacque.
Alex said when the notice of the award came through, “I believe there was dancing around the room.”
Both girls are interested in science, and both are members of Friendship’s Science Olympiad team.
Alex said she plans to major in chemistry with a pre-medicine track. She plans to study epidemiology “to help prevent the spread of diseases.” She said she knows about epidemiology through her involvement in Science Olympiad.
Her sister is also planning to be a chemistry major with a pre-medicine track, and said she plans to be a psychiatrist and “help research autism and ways to find a cure.”
“All the science teachers were always there to help and answer any questions we had,” said Katie.
Alex said she really enjoys her classes at Friendship and calls it “an amazing school.”
“We’ve had so much support from teachers and other students,” she said.