National Merit finalist: Grace Sykes

Patricia Faulhaber
Suburbanite correspondent

Editor's Note:Jackson High School has what is believed to be a school – and Stark County record – eight finalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program. For the next several weeks, the Suburbanite will profile each finalist

Grace Sykes

All winners of Merit Scholarship awards are chosen from the Finalist group based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments – without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. A variety of information is available for NMSC to evaluate: The Finalist's academic record, information about the school's curriculum and grading system, PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index score, the high school official's written recommendation, information about the student's activities and leadership, and the Finalist's own essay.

Grace Sykes is one of the eight National Merit Scholarship finalists from Jackson High School. Below are her responses to being selected.

Do you know when you find out if you have been selected to receive one of the awards

At the college I plan on attending, all National Merit Finalists receive a $2,000 scholarship directly from the college.

Would you detail or list the academics you participated in grades 9-12?

I am a student in the Jackson School for the Arts (an academy within Jackson High School) where I have taken classes in vocal performance, theater, visual art, and dance. I also have taken9 AP classes including:

AP English Literature and Composition, AP English Language and Composition, AP Seminar, AP Research, AP U.S. History, AP World History, AP Government, AP Psychology and AP Physics and a few CCP classes

My current GPA is a 5.1.

Do you want to share your PSAT or SAT scores for publications?

ACT: 34

List your extra-curricular you’ve participated in 9-12.

Women’s Chorus (9th, 10th, 11th, 12th), Chorale (10th, 11th, 12th), Jacks-N-Jills Show Choir (10th, 11th), Jackson

High School Mock Trial Team (9th, 10th, 11th, 12th), International Thespians Society (10th, 11th, 12th), Tri-M Music Honor Society (11th, 12th), National Honor Society (11th, 12th), Jackson High School Freshman Mentor Program (11th, 12th), Volunteering with The Poll Hero Project (12th), Part-time job at Old Navy (12th), various musical theater productions at Jackson High School and the North Canton Playhouse

What were some of the leadership roles you’ve had?

During my Junior and Senior year, I was the Soprano 2 section leader for Chorale and Women’s Chorus. I am also the Treasurer for National Honor Society, a lead Freshman mentor, and the Chair of the Jacks-N-Jills Show Choir.

What was your essay titled and what was it about?

My essay was about my experience as a member of the Poll Hero Project, a non-profit powered by teenagers and young adults who spent the months prior to Election Day recruiting students to fill the national poll worker shortage.

Why did you select the topic for your essay?

Last year was the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Being a member of the Poll Hero Project gave me the opportunity to protect that right to vote by ensuring that every polling location was fully staffed and that every man or woman who wished to cast a ballot would be able to do so. It was a very meaningful experience and one that I was excited to share with the readers at the NMSC.

What would you do with the scholarship award if you receive it?

I would put it towards college costs and potentially a semester abroad.

Have you selected a college or been accepted in a college and if so, what is it?

I have been accepted to and plan to attend Grove City College.

Have you selected a major and what is it?

I plan to double major in English and Political Science on a Pre-Law Track.

Career plans?

Following my undergraduate studies, I plan to attend law school and become a lawyer, potentially in the field of criminal law.

Any people you would like to thank?

I would like to thank my parents for their constant encouragement, and Mrs. Rankin and Mr. Knopick for their endless support, help and guidance throughout this process.