HARPERS FERRY – Speaking in a sweet but clever way about her, there’s no doubt why Harpers Ferry resident Anna Riordan was recently awarded a National Merit Scholarship.
Riordan is one of 2,500 from across the country to earn $ 2,500 for his college education through the program. However, the announcement came as a bit of a surprise for the Stanford Online High School student, who applied in the fall of 2020.
“I have submitted the request since the beginning of October, so it was not on my mind,” she said. “I kind of forgot a bit, but then getting the email was really exciting.”
The application process included examining the academic record, including the level of difficulty of the subjects studied and the marks obtained; the results of the preliminary qualifying test for the SAT / National Merit Scholarship; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist and a recommendation written by a high school official. A committee of admissions officers and high school counselors judged each finalist based on the value of each category as a whole.
“I am really proud. I feel like I worked for it and I’m really grateful that they gave me this award, ”said Riordan.
Attending St. Joe’s for college before moving on to a fully online high school, Riordan’s experience has been unique, at least until the pandemic struck. Online training has helped her become the person she is today, a dynamic and empowered person, able to learn and cultivate relationships with people all over the world.
“I think it was a really interesting and really unique experience for the first few years. Then recently everyone went on the Internet, ”she laughs. “Online schooling, I learned a lot in terms of managing your time and making sure you do things on your own. One of the good things about teaching online, you can take classes with people all over the world, and I think it’s been really interesting for me to hear from people who live in all these different places to hear their views, as well. “
One of Riordan’s best friends lives in the Philippines, the student adding that while most of the students in her class are from the United States, many of her classmates reside in other countries.
A clear sense of academia in her voice, Riordan paused thoughtfully as she reflected on why she loves school, why she strives to be the best student she can be. After a while, she recognized the challenge that each new lesson brings.
“I think I really like feeling the challenge and taking the challenge,” she said. “If I have a problem or a task I need to complete, and it’s not an obvious answer, it’s (cool) to work on it, overcome it, and come back to the challenge. Acquiring new knowledge is also exciting, learning new things. “
When it comes to challenges, Riordan’s preferred area of study is far from easy.
“I’m really interested in science, especially biological science,” she said. “I’m planning on studying biomedical engineering at university, and I really love biology, especially since I’ve been in St. Joe’s. It was there that I was introduced to biology and since then I have always continued to explore it. I took three one-year biology courses in high school. I’m just trying to learn all I can about it. With biomedical engineering, I think it’s fascinating how you can apply engineering to biomedical science and where we can go from there.
Riordan isn’t sure where her love for the biological sciences will take her, but she does know that her future lands in Raleigh, North Carolina have been accepted in the state of North Carolina.
“That was part of (my decision) being North Carolina and Raleigh, in particular, (how pretty),” she said. “Their engineering school is really impressive, and so are their facilities and programs.”
Whether it was her years down to Kindergarten to Grade 12 or her future with the Wolfpack, Riordan will forever be grateful for the support she has had now and for years to come, every moment of support helping her. to guide her to who she is today.
“I am really grateful to everyone, especially my family,” she said. “I have a very large family. I have five siblings, my mom and dad, and they’re all really great and supportive. I am truly grateful to have encouraged them for me every step of the way.