Local National Merit Achievement Program winner

Mary Louis Academy senior Kathryn Small is one of 700 high school students throughout the nation who has been honored as a National Merit Achievement Program winner.
Small, who is a resident of Fresh Meadows, is an active student in her Jamaica school. She has been a member of the Student Congress, Library Club, Science Club and Art Club, among others, and is on the executive board of the National Honor Society.
However, the majority of her attention goes to the speech team, which is called the Forensics Club. Small said that she had been looking for a club where she could be herself and found the speech team after a friend had recommended it. She has now participated in competitions with the team and said that she has made many friends through her involvement. The team participates in interscholastic tournaments, private invitational tournaments, a championship in Albany and the annual national championship.
Due to her performance on the PSAT, Small was sent an application for the National Merit Achievement Program, which recognizes “academically talented Black American high school students.” Of the students who took the 2005 PSAT/NMSQT, 1,600 students were selected as semifinalists with 700 of those being named winners.
“It felt great to be recognized for something,” said Small, who has worked as a peer tutor in the past. “It’s a big motivational factor.”
Small said that one of her biggest inspirations has been her mother, Francesca, who she said has made many sacrifices and has dedicated her whole life to creating a better life for her daughter.
Of attending school at The Mary Louis Academy, which has about 1,100 students, Small said, “Every day … here is an experience.” Along with having made many close friends during her high school years, Small said that she has enjoyed going to classes and said that the teachers she has encountered have been “more than teachers.” She said many of them took the time to come to school early or stay late in order to help her.
“It’s more than just an education here,” Small said. “It makes you want to learn.”
After graduating from The Mary Louis Academy, Small plans on going on to college where she will study biological engineering. She said that she has always wanted to be a pediatrician and that she wanted to combine her love for math with her love for science. Small said that her dream job would be working either as a medical engineer or as a pediatrician.