El Paso ISD home to the county’s only 2023 National Merit Scholars
(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT — May 10, 2023) — Coronado High School's Deena Al-Dahwi and Franklin High School’s Anna Dixon earned the prestigious 2023 National Merit Scholarship.
The two students are the only El Paso seniors among the 2,500 merit scholars nationwide to earn the $2,500 scholarship.
Al-Dahwi and Dixon were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT); contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.
This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2021 when high school juniors took the PSAT/NMSQT, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. 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. Both Al-Dahwi and Dixon were the only El Paso students to be named semifinalists.