The Franklin School of Innovation student, Bella Vandersall, has been selected as a National Merit Semifinalist. This is the first National Merit Semifinalist for The Franklin School of Innovation, which was founded in 2014 and graduated its third senior class in June of 2020.
According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, “…National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.” More information about National Merit can be found here.
The Franklin School of Innovation plans to support Bella through the application process, where she is set to be a highly competitive candidate for National Merit Finalist. Bella is currently first in her class with a GPA of 4.49 (1.25 percentile). Additionally, Bella has taken four AP classes so far and passed all of her AP exams. She is on track to receive the Asheville area’s first AP Capstone Diploma. In addition to academics, Bella is involved in many extracurriculars: she helped found a school spirit organization, Community Council, is on the leadership team for Franklin’s Habitat for Humanity program, serves as a Peer Support Council advisor, leads tours of Franklin through the Student Ambassador program, and plays soccer for Franklin as well as the Highlands Football Club (HFC).
Bella is the daughter of Kirk Vandersall and Michelle Vruwink. Bella is exploring many college options across the country, and is interested in majoring in law or social sciences research, though she is keeping all her options open for the future! She is applying to colleges while also planning for a gap year, with the objective of living in a French-speaking country to use and improve her French language skills.
The Franklin School of Innovation is a tuition free, public charter, middle and high school with grades 5-12 founded in 2014 located in Asheville, NC. All families in North Carolina are eligible to enroll at Franklin and there is availability in various grades. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.