Oasis Academy student earns scholarship | NevadaAppeal.com

Oasis Academy student earns scholarship

Keith Mason, 17, a junior at Oasis Academy, is one of the 16,000 students named semifinalist in the National Meri Scholarship prorgram.

Keith Mason, 17, is the second student at Oasis Academy to receive the 2017 National Merit Scholarship—but the effort took more than just taking the required test.

"A lot of people are scared to put in the work," he said. "The key is to keep going, reach what you want, and shoot higher. Don't let anything weigh you down."

For a student like Mason to receive this scholarship is consequential; semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of high school students across the country, and consists of the highest scoring participant in each state.

In northern Nevada, the scholarship was assigned to 36 students from 11 high schools.

In the U.S., 3,200 students were selected as finalists for the program and will receive an annual award of $500 to $2,000.

Students were selected by excellent results of academic and application requirements.

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More than 1.5 million juniors from 22,000 high schools earned the scholarship, including Mason.

"It's empowering," he said. "I want to shoot for my dreams."

Mason's dream is to pursue a career in business or law and attend Harvard. Although he graduates next year, Mason doesn't mind sticking around Fallon as he cherishes his roots; he's involved in Oasis Academy's Student Council, Honor Society, dance, ballet, and ballroom clubs.

Mason also volunteers at the William Pennington Life Center and is also on the Honor Society and Dean's List through Western Nevada College's Jump Start program.

But before he graduates, Mason's next goal is to get a high score on his ACT test.

Later this year, he will find out the monetary value of his scholarship.

Devyn Frederick was Oasis Academy's first student to obtain the scholarship last year before graduating.