Keystone Oaks seniors Ben Hrivnak and Anika Loper have been named commended students by the National Merit Scholarship Program. They are two of nearly 34,000 high scorers nationwide to receive Letters of Commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise based on their performance on the 2021 PSAT exam and plans to attend college after high school.
Throughout high school, Ben has been actively involved in several athletic programs, extra curricular activities, and community service projects. He has played football, basketball, and baseball since his freshman year. Ben was inducted into the National Honor Society and has been an active member of the Math and Strength Clubs since his sophomore year. He has maintained a grade point average of at least 3.75 and has been named to the High School’s highest honor roll each quarter since his freshman year. During the 2021-2022 school year, Ben received the Challenge Programs’ Academic Excellence Award and he was named an AP Scholar with Distinction for earning an average score of 3.5 on all AP Exams and scores of 3 or higher on five or more exams. Additionally, Ben has earned more than 100 hours of community service by volunteering with Castle Shannon Borough’s Youth Summer Camp, Keystone Oaks’ Summer Lunch Program, the metro basketball program, and flag football.
Anika is actively involved in several Keystone Oaks High School activities, including varsity soccer, National Honor Society, French Club, Environmental Club, Math Club, and the Torch Yearbook. As a senior, she is one of the soccer team’s captains, and in addition to being selected for the WPIAL Girls Soccer Class 2A All-Section Team during her junior year, has also received several team awards, including “Defensive Player of the Year,” and “Co-MVP.” Anika was named an AP Scholar with Distinction for earning an average score of 3.5 on all AP Exams and scores of 3 or higher on five or more exams.During her freshman and junior years, she was the recipient of the George Shultz Award for academic achievement in history classes. Anika has volunteered for the Green Tree Little Kickers soccer program and she has held a part-time job since her freshman year. After graduation, she is planning to study political science and law.
The National Merit program is an academic competition for recognition and scholarships that began in 1955. High school students enter the National Merit Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test – a test which serves as an initial screening of approximately 1.5 million juniors in 22,000 high schools each year – and by meeting published program entry/participation requirements.