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Two Belton High School Seniors Named National Merit Finalists

BELTON, TX — Two Belton High School seniors are among 15,000 high school students nationwide to be selected as finalists for the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program. 

Mitchell Bonner and Benjamin Broom were notified last month they had been named National Merit finalists, an honor that comes with the opportunity to earn scholarship money to be awarded later this spring.

“Both Benjamin and Mitchell have gone above and beyond in representing Belton High School at the highest levels,” said principal Ben Smith. “This is a prestigious honor, and our school community is so proud of them.”

Bonner said the recognition feels like the culmination of all his hard work in high school.

“It makes me feel like I’ve been doing something right during my four years in high school, and that’s really rewarding,” he said.

The seniors were notified in the fall that they were semifinalists in the competition. To be selected as a finalist, Bonner and Broom  submitted detailed applications with information about their academic records, school and community activities, leadership characteristics and awards earned.

“I remember working very hard toward this goal, including practice tests and especially through the writing process for the finalist application,” Broom said. “It means a lot to me to earn this recognition.

Broom, the son of Wayne and Tanja Broom, is a Superintendent’s Scholar and member of the National Honor Society as well as a four-year member of the varsity golf team. Broom has participated in the Texas Bioscience Institute’s Middle College program through Temple College and served as a college math tutor through the program’s Summer Math Institute. After graduating, he plans to attend Baylor University to major in neuroscience with the career goal of becoming a neurosurgeon.

Bonner, the son of Drs. David and Nancy Bonner, is an Eagle Scout, a member of the varsity tennis team and vice president of the National Honor Society. He serves on the youth council at Foundation United Methodist Church, where he hosted a church web show during the pandemic. After graduating, Bonner plans to attend Texas A&M University to major in mechanical engineering. 

“Many of my favorite teachers have really helped me develop a passion for learning and helped guide my career choice,” Bonner said. “Through my classes and the tennis team I’ve also made lasting friendships that have made my time in Belton ISD so fun and meaningful.”

According to the National Merit Scholarship Program, more than 1.5 million high school juniors entered the 2021 contest, which began with the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Of the 15,000 nationwide finalists, about 7,500 will be awarded a merit scholarship from the organization.

March 9, 2021