South's Frew, three Science Hill students win National Merit Scholarships

Rick Wagner • Jun 3, 2020 at 3:00 PM

One Sullivan County senior and three Johnson City seniors have won National Merit Scholarships from universities.

Brodie W. Frew of Sullivan South High School, who plans a career in surgical medicine, won a National Merit Scholarship from the University of Alabama, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced Wednesday. The other three Tri-Cities winners were:

— Greta N. Higginbotham from Science Hill High School. She plans a computer science career and won a scholarship from the University of Florida;

— Karissa X. Korman from Science Hill.  She plans a career in film production and won a scholarship from Northeastern University; 

— Sunshine D. Wheeler from Science Hill. She plans a career in business and won a scholarship from the University of Southern California.

The Evanston, Illinois-based National Merit Scholarship Corporation Wednesday announced the four Tri-Cities recipients among more than 3,300 winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities. National Merit announced corporate-sponsored awards April 22 and winners of National Merit $2,500 Scholarships May 13. Additional recipients of college-sponsored awards will be announced July 13. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 7,600 academic champions will have won National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million.

Frew’s scholarship from the University of Alabama includes full tuition for 10 semesters, eight semesters of housing, a $2,000 summer research allowance, a $2,000 book scholarship and a yearly stipend of $3,500, according to his mother, Christy Frew. He plans to work on a pre-medicine track in biology then continue on to medical school.

He also been accepted to Case Western Reserve University, University of Tennessee (honors program), East Tennessee State University and Florida International University. He is currently on the wait list at Johns Hopkins University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia, his mother said.

In addition to being a National Merit finalist, Frew is also ranked first in his graduating class of 204 students at Sullivan South with a 4.0 unweighted grade point average, according to Christy Frew. He was involved with several clubs at South and has done volunteer work through them and on his own at local hospitals, as well as at Camp Kaleidoscope in Vermont, a vacation camp for families with children on the autism spectrum. 

Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among the finalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution. These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. A fourth group of Scholars will be announced in July, bringing the total number of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship recipients in the 2020 competition to about 4,100.

Semifinalists were the highest-scoring program entrants in each state and represented less than 1% of the nation’s seniors.

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