Abby Lemert was excited when she found out she had been named a National Merit Scholar.
She was thrilled to learn she had been chosen for one of Purdue University’s most elite scholarships.
But when Lemert found out she would soon be traveling to the nation’s capital as a 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholar, it was almost too good to be true.
I was blown away that they even considered me, and when I found out I’d won, I was just so surprised and so honored, Lemert said.
The 18-year-old Carroll High School senior was selected for the U.S. Presidential Scholars program from more than 3,000 candidates.
There are 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars. A male and female student are chosen from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and at-large picks are made.
When I found out I was a semifinalist and it had been narrowed down to six girls, I Internet-stalked some of them and they’d done these incredible things, Lemert said. So when I found out I won, I was so surprised.
The scholars are chosen on the basis of academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service and contribution to school and community. The scholars will be honored in Washington from June 22 to 25 and could include a meeting with President Barack Obama, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
SAT and ACT scores were also considered. Lemert scored 2,270 out of 2,400 points on the SAT and 35 out of 36 points on the ACT.
Lemert is the daughter of Bruce and Doris Lemert.
We are incredibly proud of her, her mother said. We had a friend say it’s kind of like winning the parents’ lottery, and that’s exactly how we feel.
In a few weeks, Lemert will graduate from Carroll before joining an elite group of Purdue freshmen known as the Beering Scholars in the fall. The Steven C. Beering Scholarship, named after the university’s former president, is a full-ride scholarship that covers all undergraduate and graduate expenses, including a semester abroad.
She was also awarded a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship for high scores on the PSAT her junior year of high school.
Lemert plans to study aerospace engineering and global studies in hopes of one day working in government intelligence, research or defense or for NASA.
Her mom, Doris, said her daughter gets it honestly.
Lemert’s mother is director of marketing and development at Science Central, and her father is a retired auditor. Her mother said Lemert got the creative genes from her and science and math genes from her dad.
My dad is a pretty sciency person, and several of our families were engineers. My grandpa was actually an engineer who helped design the black box that airplanes use, Lemert said. So I’ve always wanted to do something like that for a career.
Indiana’s other Presidential Scholar is Daniel Fu, a Park Tudor student from Carmel.