Senior Jessica Jen was named a National Merit Scholar Finalist and was also awarded the DAR Good Citizen award. From left are DAR representative Betsy Beatty, Jen, Assistant Principal Dr. Libby Madding, and DAR representative Sally McFarlane.
One of Atascadero High School’s top seniors, Jessica Jen, won the district level competition of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Good Citizens award and was a finalist for National Merit scholarship, a rare accomplishment.
To qualify for the Good Citizens award, AHS selected six candidates to write about the leadership, service, dependability, and patriotism in their homes, schools, and communities. The essays were intended to help judges determine a student’s leadership qualities and personal values. Jen won at the school level, then wrote a second timed essay about American heritage. Her essay won the chapter and district levels of the competition and is now being judged at the state level. “I am beyond honored to have participated in the contest and be considered by the DAR Good Citizens panel,” Jen said.
Furthermore, Jen is involved in organizations at AHS where she tries to “help our community in ways that are effective and meaningful.” She has also served as editor for Hilltop News for the past two years where she oversees her peers’ works and teaches them the basics of journalism and oversees the production of the newspaper. Her role as captain in the AHS Science Bowl taught her a lot about managing and determination. “These positions have taught me about motivating others and myself,” Jen said. “Now, because of the leadership positions I hold, I need to be dependable and responsible for the people I lead.” She explained that she views patriotism as practicing the values that are central to the country’s identity. These characteristics are some of the reasons why Jen received the Good Citizens award.
In addition to the DAR Good Citizens scholarship, Jen was also named a National Merit Finalist. She took the PSAT in her junior year and earned a score high enough to meet California’s index cutoff for class of 2019, which made her a semi-finalist. In late 2018 she submitted an additional application to reach finalist status, which she was notified about in February. Being named a finalist for the National Merit Scholar competition is a rare feat, and provides an opportunity for a monetary scholarship will be announced in the coming months.
The scholarships she has earned so far will help her achieve her future goals.