Four Ahwatukee Foothills high school students will have an easier time paying for college and all the expenses that come with it as they were announced as winners of the National Merit Scholarship.

Alexandrea Martinez, a recent graduate of Mountain Pointe High School, was among the four and she will be attending the Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University. There she will work toward a major in math.

“I just always really liked math,” she said. “ASU has a lot of opportunities so I could use the money for a thesis project or a research project.”

Martinez will be receiving $13,000 per year through the scholarship with an additional, one-time amount of $1,000 for a study abroad program, and another $1,000 to be used in research as she sees fit.

From her Ahwatukee Foothills home, it is a short drive to ASU, but she will be living in the dorms and the scholarship will cover her tuition and most of her room and board.

“I’ve been going to ASU for a long time and I feel comfortable there,” Martinez said. “This scholarship is definitely a big help.”

The winners were selected from a field of 15,000 finalists, comprising the top 1 percent of high school PSAT scores. More than half of that number received National Merit Scholarships.

This year’s award reflect 2010 PSAT scores when the students were juniors in high school. In total, the 15,000 finalists were narrowed down from 1.5 million juniors who took the test.

The other winners from Ahwatukee Foothills were Mountain Pointe graduate Joshua Anolick, who received a scholarship to the University of New Mexico; Katelyn Giel, scholarship winner from Desert Vista High School, who will also attend Arizona State University; and Jessica Ann Janzen, Horizon Community Learning Center graduate, who will attend Northwestern University.

“I think what I am looking forward to most about college is the experiences and meeting new people,” Martinez said.

To find out more about the National Merit Scholarship, visit www.nationalmerit.org.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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