Makayla Ragnone, a senior at Carson High School was named as a Samsung American Legion Scholarship National Finalist.
Ragnone was selected by the staff of the American Legion Auxiliary's Nevada Girls State program, which was held July 1-7 at the University of Nevada, Reno's 4-H camp in Lake Tahoe.
Officials said the selection was based on academics, school and community involvement, and financial need.
As a Samsung American Legion Scholarship National Finalist, Ragnone will join 99 other National Finalists from around the United States, each competing for one of twelve scholarships; each scholarship is worth an expected $20,000.
Ragnone is involved in Carson High's National Honor Society, serving as this year's president; and the NJROTC unit, serving as this year's operations officer. She actively participates in CHS's judicial board, is a member of the varsity track and field team, and is the captain of the varsity rifle team. She is seeking a congressional nomination and acceptance to the US Air Force or Naval Academies and plans to study engineering sciences as a precursor to medical school to study anesthesiology.
The Samsung American Legion Scholarship funds come from the earnings of a $5 million endowment given by Samsung. Samsung, joined with The American Legion to offer an educational opportunity to the descendants of war-time veterans who have served honorably.
Ragnone comes from a family dedicated to military service. Her mother, Jacqueline Ragnone (USAF), served, as did her uncles, Marty Ragnone (USAF, retired), Patrick Nino (USAF, active), Paul Nino (USA), and Steven Nino (USAF). Her father and stepmother, Scott and Wendy Ragnone are both active duty US Air Force NCOs. Her grandfather, Marty Ragnone (USAF, retired), served in the Vietnam War and her great-grandfather, Peter Ragnone (USA), served during World War II.
"Girls State was a fantastic experience," Ragnone said. "The girls selected to participate in this program were extraordinary and I am honored that I was selected to represent Carson High School. I met great people and made fantastic, lifelong friends."
She also thanked the American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 4 for the opportunity to represent them as their 2012 Nevada Girls State delegate.