National Merit Scholarship finalists are considered to be amongst the elite of the elite, and for good reason. High school students who have an outstanding PSAT score, academic record, essay, and an endorsement from a school official qualify for the National Merit Scholarship, with thousands applying each year. Incoming freshman Theresa Piroch is one of those elite of the elite who competed and won finalist status. With such clout, she could have gone anywhere. But, her #1 choice for college never wavered: Christendom.
Piroch, a native of Papillion, Nebraska, was a sterling student in high school, finishing with a cumulative 4.0 GPA. Passionate about learning and her education, Piroch refused to settle for a mediocre college, even if it had a “bigger” name, and instead sought out one that would continue to challenge her in the classroom. She found such a challenge when she visited Christendom this past fall.
“Like many Catholics, I am dissatisfied with the intellectual and moral state of the typical ‘educated’ American, perhaps because the average college neither trains the student’s mind in logical thought and his soul in holiness, nor shows him good ends and proper ideals to strive for,” says Piroch. “As America’s educational standards plummet, I admire that Christendom’s demanding liberal arts curriculum continues to dare her students to be great.”
Piroch was particularly impressed in the classroom, where students were encouraged to think and draw upon their accumulated knowledge and on the ideas found in classic works of Western Civilization. After the visit, her mind was basically made up, and she quickly applied to the college and was accepted. Her hard work in high school and in applying for the National Merit Scholarship helped her out even further in this case: Christendom not only accepted her, but also awarded her a full-tuition scholarship thanks to her outstanding academic record.
When she arrives at Christendom next month, Piroch will carry with her an academic prowess along with an extracurricular one. Piroch is an accomplished ballerina and pianist, performing in the Nutcracker for the latter and enjoying status as a member of the American Guild of Organists for the former. Her skills in Latin also led her to become a state champion for the Nebraska Junior Classical League four years in a row.
In everything in which she participates, Piroch strives to be the best that she can be. Such an attitude should serve her well at Christendom, as she works hard to attain the skills and knowledge that will set her up for success, wherever she goes next in life.
“I desire an academic program that can help me realize my potential, the education that can form me into the ideal person God intended me to be,” concludes Piroch. “I dare to be great.”