Two Rock Bridge High School students win National Merit Scholarships

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 | 12:01 a.m. CDT; updated 6:56 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 8, 2013

COLUMBIA — Two Rock Bridge High School students have won National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, the program announced Wednesday.

Seniors Stephen Alena Turban and David C. Wang were announced as winners of the college scholarships.

"I got the letter two weeks ago," Turban said Monday night. "It was a surprise."

Wang will attend Amherst College in the fall and would eventually like to go to medical school. Turban will attend Harvard University and wants to study politics, entrepreneurship and economics.

"To be fair, I don't really know what economics is," Turban said. "Let's find out."

As juniors, Turban and Wang took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and were named semifinalists in Missouri.

Turban took the test while studying in Taiwan.

From the 2013 group of 16,000 semifinalists, about 8,000 finalists will earn the Merit Scholar title and will receive a total of more than $35 million in college scholarships by the end of the program, according to a news release from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

A committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors chose the winners based on academic records, test scores, leadership experience and personal essays.

"I wrote mine about the first day I wore pants," Turban said. "It was a such a fun essay to write."

Forty-seven students from Missouri won the scholarship, and may use their awards at any regional accredited U.S. college or university, according to the news release.

"To do your best, you have to put all into it," Wang said.

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