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MOUNT WASHINGTON - Bullitt East High School Senior Alison Pulliam has earned one of the most prestigious awards in the United States.
She is a 2014 National Merit Scholar.
“It is exciting and a little sad at the same time,” she said. “I am honored to be selected but I know it means my high school years are drawing to a close.”
Alison will receive full and complete tuition, books and accommodations all paid for by Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. She will study biomedical sciences toward fulfilling her dream of becoming a medical missionary.
She will also be given a $1,000 check through LG&E, her father’s employer. Kim and John Pulliam are, naturally, quite proud of their 17 year-old daughter’s accomplishment.
“Dad was joking that he doesn’t have to pay for my college now,” Alison smiled. “My parents have always been very supportive of all things educational.”
Alison’s outstanding PSAT scores qualified her to apply online. She was required to complete an essay which she wrote in a Word document then transferred to the Internet.
“Being a successful student, peers often seek me out for advice on how to better themselves or their grades,” she wrote. “I enjoy the opportunity to help others because I have been there myself.”
Just a few years ago, Alison admitted she was completely lost, having absolutely no idea where her life was headed in the future.
“Thankfully, I have a close friend who has not only been a reliable mentor but has shaped the course of my college and career plans.”
She met Beth Joseph in eighth grade when Beth’s father was selected to pastor a church. Initially, she was not interested in friendship but God had other plans.
“One of her favorite topics of conversation was the mission trips she took to Romania,” Alison recalled. “She told me all about the great experiences she had there and the ways God had used them in her life. Her passion sparked my interest to go when her dad introduced the mission to our church.”
Beth’s convictions inspired Alison to consider medical missionary work.
“I took Anatomy the next year in school and fell in love,” she said. “At that point, I decided to pursue a medical profession and use it as an opportunity to live in a foreign environment while sharing my faith with those around me.”
Her coursework at Bullitt East has been equally astonishing with a heavy Advanced Placement concentration. She wants classes which challenge her academically.
“My priority is exceeding my potential,” she said. “I have learned to time manage and prioritize so I can maximize my education.”
Also consider Alison’s involvement in extracurricular activities such as National Honor Society historian, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and four seasons of softball (she played third base). She even babysits weekly to earn extra spending money.
“Bullitt East has definitely prepared me for the next phase of my education,” she said. “AP courses have more of a college atmosphere about them. I have learned a lot through the curriculum and in leadership.”
She urges classmates to stay focused on the future and not get caught up in the drama of the moment.
“Don’t ever slack up and do your best to avoid distractions,” she said.
National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named Semifinalists on a state representational basis. Only these 16,000 Semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition.
From the Semifinalist group, 15,000 students met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. By the conclusion of the 2014 program, about 8,000 Finalists will have earned the “Merit Scholar” title and received a total of over $35 million in college scholarships.
Bullitt County Public Schools has over 13,200 students in grades kindergarten through 12. There are 25 school facilities, a certified staff of over 900 and a classified staff of over 800 working to make the district the leader in educational excellence.