St. Michael-Albertville senior, Jack Mazurek, has attained a level of academic achievement that few students can claim. He recently received a National Merit Scholarship, which is given to only 2,500 students across the United States out of 1.6 million initial entrants.
The field of candidates for this award whittles down significantly by February of each year, when around 50,000 students are either given the title of Commended Student or Semifinalist. 34,000 of these 50,000 students are given letters of commendation to recognize their outstanding academic promise. The remaining 16,000 students are named semifinalists, and they remain in the running for the National Merit Scholarship of $2,500.
Mazurek was one of 15,000 finalists for the award, and he ultimately became one of 2,500 students to receive a National Merit Scholarship. Scholarships are funded through over 400 independent sponsors and the program’s own funds.
“I felt incredibly honored to discover I was a scholarship winner,” he said. “It was a relief to learn that all of my hard work over the past four years was finally starting to pay off.”
Mazurek’s high school counselor, Valerie Williams, said he is an extremely hardworking and dedicated student who sets goals and drives himself to attain them.
“He’s a leader at this school, and he is well-known throughout the building because he is involved in so many things and he does such a good job at the things he’s involved in,” William said. “Everyone takes note.”
Extracurricular Activities and Jack’s Future Plans
Mazurek has taken part in the school’s Business Professionals of America (BPA) club for the past three years, where he has qualified for national competition each year. Last year he received second place at nationals in Advanced Spreadsheet Applications, and in two weeks he will travel to Dallas to compete in that category again, as well as in Advanced Accounting.
Beyond BPA, Mazurek said he has been part of the high school’s student council all four years and he has been in the National Honor Society for the past two years, where he currently serves as President.
“I grew up in a family that always valued the importance of academics,” Mazurek said. “As I grew up, I mostly kept on putting in my best effort because I didn’t want to let myself down. I knew that I could do it, and because of that, I had to do it.”
Mazurek said he truly enjoys all subjects that he studies but especially enjoys math, Chinese and business classes. In the fall he will head to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities’ Carlson School of Management to study business and Chinese.
STMA High School will recognize Mazurek for this achievement during the school’s Academic Awards Ceremony on May 16.
“Jack is a wonderful student,” said Principal Bob Driver. “He really adds a lot of value to his committees and activities here at STMA.”