After several months of waiting, 17-year-old Perry Benson has been named a National Merit Scholarship finalist.
Perry is among about 15,000 students narrowed down from 16,000 semifinalists competing for 8,000 National Merit Scholarships to be offered this spring.
Perry is ranked eighth out of 427 in his class at Grand Haven High School. He said he hoped to advance in the program, but he didn’t expect it.
“I know other people are smart and could have done just as well," Perry said. "… I’m trying not to let it go to my head.”
His father, Steven Benson, said he kept an eye out for the letter informing them about his son’s next step. Once the letter arrived, Steven said he and his wife, Karen, couldn’t wait to open it.
Steven said he didn’t have any doubts his son would advance in the program.
“He’s a pretty sharp kid,” the father said.
Steven says all of his children — triplets Perry, Nathan and Alyssa — work hard and have been eager to learn.
In order to become a finalist, Perry had to submit a detailed application, letter of recommendation and essay describing why it’s important to him, who influenced him and how the community shaped him.
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