GECHS seniors recognized as recommended students on national merit


The National Merit Scholarship Program recognized Samantha Medina Pow and Ken Yaguchi, senior high school seniors at Hector J. Garcia Early College.

Medina Pow and Yaguchi have been named Recommended Students by the National Merit Scholarship Program 2022.

Medina Pow and Yaguchi are among 34,000 recommended students across the country recognized for their outstanding academic prowess, demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the qualifying test used for the program. The congratulated students were among the top 50,000 students who entered the 2022 competition by passing the qualifying test for the 2020 SAT / National Merit Preliminary Scholarship.


“It made the hours I spent studying for the academic aptitude test worth it. Every weekend throughout the junior year, I spent several hours of the day completing a practical PSAT to study, ”said Medina Pow. “This award validated all the time and effort I put into trying to get it.”

“It really hit me out of nowhere,” Yaguchi said. “Being selected as a Recommended Student took me by surprise, but it’s certainly welcome. “

“Those who are nominated as recommended students have demonstrated exceptional potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for the NMSC. “We hope this recognition will help expand their educational opportunities and encourage them to continue their quest for academic success.” “

Medina Pow and Yaguchi received a letter of recommendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which runs the program, by Garcia Early College principal, Margarita Taboada.

“I feel an immense honor to have received this recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Program,” added Medina Pow. “This recognition is a wonderful addition to my resume, I will try to use it to help me gain an advantage while applying for scholarships.”

“I know for sure that this recognition is something that could greatly benefit my portfolio of achievements,” said Yaguchi. “I think it will help me in the long run when I look for people to write my letters of recommendation.”

Medina Pow plans to attend the school of her dreams, Brown University. She plans to specialize in cognitive science and wants to get into research or social work and become a teacher.

Medina Pow is third in its category. She also attended TAMIU and has 40 hours of college. She is class president and a member of UIL Literary Criticism, UIL Ready Writing and the Press Club.

Yaguchi, who plans to attend MIT or the University of Texas while majoring in computer engineering or mechanical engineering, wants to become a full programmer for a tech company or a computer solutions architect. Yaguchi is in the Top 6 in his category. He also attends TAMIU and has 30 credit hours.

Yaguchi is currently a member of the Spanish Honor Society, UIL Literary Criticism, UIL Science and is a team leader of the Robotics Club. He was the 2019-2020 and 2020-21 LISD Regional Science Fair Champion and was selected to represent Laredo as an ISEF Finalist at the 2021 Virtual Regeneron International Science Fair.


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