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Mariner student culls top academic honor

By Staff | Oct 29, 2011

A Mariner High School student was one of 5,000 Hispanic/Latino students chosen by the College Board National Hispanic Recognition Program for his outstanding academics.

Senior Joshua Mena has a 4.5 grade point average and is currently taking five advanced placement courses at Mariner High School. He scored a five, which is a top-level score, on his reading and math FCAT, is a member of the National Honor Society and is active in student government, along with many other clubs.

“It’s a pretty big deal,” Mena said about receiving the recognition. “I am very happy about this.”

The students have to meet several requirements to be chosen by the College Board for the recognition.

Those requirements include taking the PSAT and SAT by their junior year and receiving the minimum required cutoff score; achieve a 3.0 grade point average or higher by the end of their junior year, and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Mena said after he found out that he was chosen to be an Hispanic scholar he had to submit an application for the recognition program.

“For me it’s a huge honor, and I feel privileged to receive this award,” Mena said.

Mariner High School Assistant Principal Ronda Amaya said they are extremely proud of Mena’s achievement.

“I couldn’t be happier; no one deserves it more than Josh,” she said. “It is quite an honor for him.”

Amaya said cold calculating data of his grade point average and score reports earned Mena his national recognition.

The senior began taking one advanced placement course his freshman year, which eventually grew to more courses every year. He said the AP courses taught him how to manage his time and form study groups.

The PSAT test was not a difficult test for Mena because of the relaxed atmosphere it had with his fellow students.

“Maybe that was the reason I did well on it,” he said.

The SAT, on the other hand, was a little harder for the Mariner High student. He said the test was very cold and dry, but he still did OK.

After he graduates in the spring he will continue his education to fulfill his dream of becoming a bio-medical engineer.

Although he has applied to a few colleges, his top choice is Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The College Board National Hispanic Recognition Program sends a list of recognized students to colleges and universities who are interested in academically outstanding seniors of Hispanic and Latino heritage, which often results in scholarship offers.