Long Beach High School senior Alexandra (Ali) Thursland has been named a National Merit Semifinalist through the National Merit Scholarship Program. This distinction is based upon students’ performance on the Preliminary SAT, which serves as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
Semifinalists are now eligible to advance to finalist status with the ultimate goal of winning scholarship awards.
Each year, an estimated 1.6 million students from across the nation enter this academic competition by taking the PSAT, and approximately 16,000 of them earn recognition as semifinalists. Those who achieve this honor represent the highest-scoring entrants in each state.
An International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate, Ali is developing her extended essay on “How does Vladimir Nabokov's manipulation of language in Lolita mask Humbert Humbert's nefarious deeds?” Her academic involvement and leadership roles are far-reaching, as she is currently president of Model Congress, a National Honor Society member and a student government participant. She was class president during her junior year.
Ali is an avid writer and serves as editor for the Fragments literary magazine. She also participates in the high school’s Talented Writer’s program, through which she has earned awards. Her portfolio, which includes the attached poem, The American Pageant, received a General Award of Excellence from Adelphi University.
Despite her busy school schedule, Ali works at a restaurant and, during the summer, has tutored younger students at St. Mary’s Church and volunteered with the Long Beach International Film Festival. She also plays the trumpet, piano and ukulele and has participated on the junior varsity tennis and track and field teams in previous years. With college now on the horizon, she plans to major in political science and statistics.