Williamsport senior named national achievement scholar

Williamsport Area High School senior Elizabeth Rider has been named a National Achievement Scholar from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

The upcoming grad and future Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student was only one of 700 high school students nationwide to earn the $2,500 scholarship from a pool of 1,300 finalists.

According to its website, the National Achievement Scholarship Program “is an academic competition established in 1964 to provide recognition for outstanding Black American high school students. Black students may enter both the National Achievement Scholarship Program and National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test and meeting other published requirements for participation.”

“It’s an honor and a privilege to be recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program,” Rider said.

The 17-year-old senior said she never aimed to win the national scholarship, but “just wanted to do well and keep my options open” through her high school career so that she could figure out what it is she wanted to do.

“This was a surprise,” she added with a smile.

With aspirations to work for NASA or SpaceX, Rider plans to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering and is considering a minor in political science at MIT, beginning this fall.

At the high school, Rider is involved with Mock Constitutional Convention; Model United Nations; Student Ambassador Council; the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Club; and volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

WAHS Head Principal Michael Reed described Rider as a hardworking student who exhibits a quiet leadership, having been involved with programs and projects, such as those related to STEM-based electronics, and always willing to lend a hand.

“It has been a true pleasure having Liz as a student here at the high school,” Reed said.