Congratulations to seniors Adam Garcia and Brogan Welch, who were recently named 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Students. This is the second highest national academic honor a high school student can receive and is based on results of the PSAT test they took last fall as juniors.
Adam had a lead role in the recent Fall Show and has been in the Spring Musical cast the past three years. He is a member of Quick Recall and Star Wars Club. He also is a Boy Scout and has recently completed a project to apply for the rank of Eagle Scout. He is applying to Indiana University and the University of Louisville and major in linguistics. Adam also was named a 2017-2018
National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar for excellence in academic achievement. The NHRP recognizes the top 2 percent of the high scores of all of the Hispanic students in the United States and its territories taking the PSAT in their junior year. The students also have to carry a 3.5 GPA and have one-quarter Hispanic heritage.
Brogan is a Football player and a member of the National Honor Society, Science Bowl Team, Math Team, Pro-Life Club, and Swimming team. He recently learned he was accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy and plans to major in computer science. He hopes to have a career in the Navy as a cyber-warfare officer. Next fall, he will be the third Providence alumni at the academy, joining current college juniors Charmaine Solis ’14 and Patricia Mattingly ’15, who also plays volleyball on the academy team.
Adam and Brogran said they were honored to be named Commended Students, but the other news they received was even more thrilling. Adam said of his two honors, he is proudest of the NHRP Scholar award because it is an honor as someone of Hispanic heritage to achieve that level of success.
“I’m representing my heritage,” he said. “I’m showing that if you seek the opportunities, if you put in a lot of work to gain education and skills – like my father did – and if things turn out nicely, it’s possible to” have a better life.
Brogan said the National Merit award is a testament to how much he has overcome, since he was
thought to have a learning disability in first grade. But a new school and a teacher that inspired him to fall in love with reading turned things around for him, he said. The Naval Academy acceptance is almost overwhelming, he said, since it has been his goal since his freshman year to gain admittance to the select military school.
“It’s like it wasn’t real, and I had to reread the email several times to be sure,” he said. “That’s been my goal for four years and to actually achieve it – it’s crazy.”
Commended student status means that from the more than 1.6 million juniors who took the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test last fall, these two are among the top 50,000 scorers, who are recognized for their exceptional academic promise.
Last issue, we recognized senior Kaleb Dunn, who was named a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist for his 2016 score on the PSAT.