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Students named national semifinalists

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North's Petrosius and Oldham's Jones both looking at engineering

By Tracy Harris

The annual National Merit Scholarship and National Achievement Scholarship programs announced semifinalists in recent weeks.

Semifinalists for both programs are chosen based on Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying scores, and represent less than one percent of the top U.S. high school seniors. 

The achievement scholarship recognizes African-American students, while the merit scholarship is open to all students.

Timothy Petrosius of North Oldham High was named a National Merit semifinalist out of 1.5 million juniors across the country. Petrosius is one of 16,000 semifinalists competing for 8,300 scholarships worth more than $34 million.

Petrosius also plays soccer at NOHS. He is planning to study engineering, possibly at the University of Louisville, Case Western Reserve University or the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Being named a semifinalist meant a lot, he said. "It really opened up the college horizon," he said. 

Bilal Jones, of Oldham County High, was named a National Achievement semifinalist out of 160,000 juniors. He is one of 1,600 semifinalists competing for 800 awards worth over $2.4 million.

Jones plays in the concert and marching bands, jazz ensemble and Tri-M national society of student musicians, of which he is the chapter president. This year he is also serving as the attorney general for the Kentucky Youth Assembly mock-government conference.

He plans to study physics or engineering in college, although he hasn't made a decision on where.