Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, March 29, 2018
DISHS senior wins Merit Scholarship award
by Monique Labbe
Deer Isle-Stonington High School senior Brendan Penfold is a recipient of the 2018 National Merit Scholarship award, according to guidance counselor Tim Goding.
It has been a lengthy process to get to this point, Penfold said. His PSAT scores his junior year were in the 1 percent of national test scores, good enough to get him nominated as a semifinalist last September.
“To become a finalist I had to send in an application, including my SAT scores and what ended up becoming my college essay,” said Penfold.
Penfold was one of 90 percent of the semifinalists to make it to the final round. Of those finalists, only 50 percent are awarded the $2,500 scholarship. Penfold was one of those students.
“It has definitely been exciting moving through all of the different levels. Each time I found out I’d advanced, I’d start to look at the next level,” he said.
This scholarship is not the only one Penfold has his eye on, as the senior is in the middle of applying for several scholarships as the end of his high school career approaches.
“Right now I’m in the middle of applying to a bunch of scholarships for college, so it was wonderful for $2,500 to just sort of fall out of the sky,” he said.
Penfold said he plans to attend Swarthmore College in Philadelphia, Pa. in the fall to major in engineering. He said he has not decided on which engineering path he wants to focus on; he is leaning toward civil or environmental.
A standout runner over his seasons on the cross-country team, Penfold also plans to run cross-country and distance events at the collegiate level.
“I’m looking forward to meeting my new team in a couple weeks, when I go down for accepted students day,” he said.