Last month, SCCS senior and ‘lifer’ Ramy Wahba received a great honor when he was named a Commended Student by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC).

I am ecstatic to be receiving this commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation,” shared Ramy. “A student’s efforts in high school can sometimes feel unrewarding until graduation day or college orientation, so being recognized here and now is a huge encouragement for me to press on until the end of the year.”

Across the country, over 1.6 million juniors take the PSAT in the hopes of becoming a National Merit Scholar. Less than three percent will be chosen to contend for the National Merit Scholarship. 

“It is a true accomplishment to become a Commended Student as it acknowledges the student’s hard work and aptitude to having great success as a college student,” shared Michele Puglisi, SCCS Director of Academics and College Advisement.

With his sights set on college after graduation, Ramy is an example of how students at SCCS complete their secondary education prepared for college and beyond.  

“These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “Those being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success.”

In addition to his academic success, Ramy has been involved in many extracurricular opportunities throughout his high school years including Student Leadership Council, California Scholarship Federation, Future Business Leaders of America, choir and varsity soccer. Last week, he helped lead the student body in prayer at “See You at the Pole”.

Ramy Whaba“SCCS has played a huge part in molding me into the person I am today,” continued Ramy. “I have been consistently encouraged by teachers here to go above and beyond what is required by curriculum. Proficiency and practical use have often been emphasized in the classroom. It is not simply enough to regurgitate information on test day. Rather, teachers want us to master the skills we need to succeed.”

Planning to pursue a degree in either architectural, environmental or biochemical engineering, Ramy is applying and hoping to receive admission to UCLA, UCSD or California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo.

“My encouragement to younger students is simple: learn to love learning. Once learning is a greater priority than GPA or SAT scores, nothing stands in your way. In the pursuit of knowledge, success should be a byproduct rather than a destination. So how do you develop a love for learning? Show up to class every morning with an eagerness to be taught. If something interests you, ask questions, do more research, and pursue it outside of the classroom. Furthermore, find passion and zeal in whatever you do, whether you’re examining the Calvin Cycle in plants or writing an essay on the Socratic method. Participate in class discussions. Never shy away from asking difficult questions. Most importantly, learn with integrity. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.”