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Two students from the Craft Academy at Morehead State are National Merit Scholarship finalists

Duncan McGinnisNakia McBride
Two students from Morehead State's Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics are finalists for the National Merit Scholarship.  

Seniors Nakia McBride from Campbell County and Duncan McGinnis from Russell County are among the 15,000 finalists who have entered the final phase of the scholarship competition. Roughly 1.5 million students initially entered the competition.  

McBride said she is honored to be chosen as a finalist.  

"To me, it represents achievement and making it far academically," she said. "Being a Craft student helped me prepare for the test because they had us use a specific website to study for the PSAT for months before it happened."  

McGinnis said he's grateful for how the Craft Academy's Guidance Counselor, Dr. Garrick Ratliff, helped him apply for the scholarship.  

"To me, it means recognition and an honor that few high schoolers receive; I think there are only 15,000 finalists nationally, so it's an honor that I get to be among them," he said. "Craft Academy has really helped me through Dr. Ratliff, our awesome counselor, who helped me through the application process, read my essays and helped me get everything in on time."  

After graduation, McBride said she has plans to become an actuary, and McGinnis plans to study biology.   

Approximately 7,500 finalists will be chosen to receive scholarships. Winners will be selected between March and June. Winners are chosen based on their academic record, information about the school's curriculum and grading system, PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index score, the high school official's written recommendation, information about the student's activities and leadership, and the finalists' essays. Scholarship recipients will be notified by email.  

The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics is a dual-credit academy for academically exceptional Kentucky students. Craft Academy provides students with a postsecondary residential experience to complete their junior and senior years of high school by enrolling in college courses. The Craft Academy's purpose is to meet the unique educational needs of academically gifted and talented high school juniors and seniors in the Commonwealth. The academic rigor of the Craft Academy challenges students to excel at their highest level through project-based STEM+X courses and hands-on learning experiences, with emphasis on innovation, design and creativity, and civic and regional engagement.

To learn more about the Craft Academy, visit, email or call 606-783-2093.