HOUGHTON - A senior at Houghton High School has been named a semifinalist for the 2011 class of the Coca-Cola Scholars Program among nearly 71,000 other applicants.
Jaya Narain said she'll know in February if she is one of more than 4,700 young scholars in the class of 2011 nationwide with more than $44 million in scholarships the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation will have provided.
"Right now, I'm just a semifinalist," Narain said.
Jaya Narain, a senior at Houghton High School, is seen at the school recently. Narain is a semifinalist for the 2011 class of the Coca-Cola Scholars Program. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette photo by Stacey Kukkonen)
Narain said 250 students are in the running to win this particular program and she ranks with approximately 2,100 high school seniors who are in the running for $3 million in college scholarships that the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation will award in spring 2011.
Students nationwide are selected to advance to this next phase based on the academic excellence, leadership and achievement demonstrated in school and community activities, according to Kristen Rundman, who is guidance counselor at Houghton High School.
Rundman said the scholarship selection is based on academic excellence, leadership and achievement demonstrated in school and community activities.
"She had to submit additional information that is going to be reviewed by a committee of 30 educators from high schools and university throughout the United States," she said.
If Narain advances from that, she'll be one of 253 finalists who will travel to Atlanta in April for a final interview process.
"There are 50 national scholarships, which each get $20,000 and 200 regional scholarships, which each get $8,000," Rundman said.
Additionally, there are three $20,000 scholarships awarded, she added.
Narain said although there are hundreds of students in the running, she's appreciative of even being called a semifinalist, as the experience has been helpful.
"It's nice," Narain said. "It's a great opportunity and it's really hard to get."
Rundman praised Narain's accomplishments, calling her "an excellent student."
"She's been taking challenging classes all the way through school," she said. "She's been taking classes at Michigan Technological University as well as the high school. She's one of the National Merit Scholar finalists. She's brilliant."
The class of 2011 Coca-Cola Scholars will mark the 23rd consecutive year that the foundation has awarded scholarships.
After completing high school, Narain said she'd like to study engineering, although she's still decided where she would like to go to school.