For high school seniors today, finding a challenging college curriculum that will help them continue their growth can be hard to find. Many are without a core curriculum, limiting students to one field of study rather than expanding their minds. National Merit Finalists Joseph Piroch, Anna Milinovich, and Samuel Wright encountered this problem while searching for where they would attend college after their high school graduation. Finally, though, they found what they were looking in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia: Christendom, which further made college affordable for these students through the National Merit Finalist Full-Tuition Scholarship.
Piroch, Milinovich, and Wright are all members of the incoming Class of 2024. Their status as National Merit Finalists meant that they had many options for college, but all three wanted an education that would be both challenging and distinctly Catholic.
In Wright’s case, his love for learning and reading always helped him excel with standardized testing. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Wright was homeschooled through Kolbe Academy’s curriculum and, with encouragement from his family, he was able to work hard and achieve National Merit Finalist status — a prestigious accomplishment.
When it came to college, Wright wanted the same level of academic rigor he experienced both at Kolbe and through everything he did to become a National Merit Finalist. Once again, his family came to his aid. All five of Wright’s sisters and his two brothers attended Christendom and introduced him to the college. After hearing about it and looking into the curriculum, Wright decided that it was the place for him. He applied and was awarded the college’s National Merit Finalist Full-Tuition Scholarship — one of the three Christendom offered to members of the Class of 2024 this year.
“I think that Christendom’s rigorous academics will provide the perfect opportunity for me to further develop and advance in learning,” says Wright.
For Milinovich, her search for the right school lasted throughout the summer and fall of her senior year of high school. She pursued many different options for college, looking for an education that would be both rigorous and affordable. Milinovich, hailing from nearby West Virginia, ended up attending the Experience Christendom Summer Program and then returned to campus for an Open House that fall. That visit ended up being the turning point for her.
“I loved experiencing the school with my family, talking to current students, and attending an amazing English class,” recalls Milinovich. “After attending another [college’s] Open House and staying overnight, I truly felt that Christendom was the school to which God was calling me. I loved the people I met and found everyone very friendly and encouraging. I loved the classes and the campus. From then on, I just kept saying ‘I am so excited! The other main factor in my decision was the money. God answered this prayer through receiving Christendom’s National Merit Finalist Scholarship.’”
With her rigorous homeschool background through Seton Home Study School, Milinovich, like Wright, was also named a National Merit Finalist. When she applied to Christendom, she was awarded the full-tuition scholarship, sealing the deal for her and making her top college affordable. Now, she cannot wait to get started with Christendom’s education.
“Christendom’s liberal arts education will give me the well-rounded learning that will help me to thrive,” says Milinovich. “I am also excited about the Advanced Studies Program because I can dive even deeper into subjects that interest me under the guidance of the professors.”
Piroch, a native of Pennsylvania, first experienced Christendom through siblings as well, like Wright. His sister, Theresa, is a rising senior at Christendom and played a major role in his decision to enroll, according to Piroch.
“Her love for the professors and the student body has always been apparent,” says Piroch. “However, I was also swayed by a visit to the charming campus.”
Piroch attended Queen of Heaven Academy for high school, while also taking classes at a local college in Ohio. After earning his own National Merit Finalist award, Piroch immediately turned to Christendom as his choice for college, seeing its academics as perfect for his future.
“I chose Christendom because I desire to better realize the gifts God has blessed me with,” says Piroch. “Christendom’s wholesome education of the mind and body represents my best opportunity to progress intellectually and athletically. My dedication to learning and hunger for success makes me a perfect fit for Christendom’s challenging curriculum. A quick and willing learner, I will absorb and apply my education whenever I get the chance.”
Piroch applied, was accepted, and was named Christendom’s third National Merit Finalist Full-Tuition Scholarship award-winner for 2020.
All three — Wright, Milinovich, and Piroch — are set to excel at Christendom once they arrive this fall. The college’s National Merit Finalist Full-Tuition Scholarship made the school affordable for them, enabling them to attend their dream college of choice. Their love for rigorous academics, a faithful education, and a strong campus culture will lead them to success, as they prepare for their future vocations and go out to “restore all things in Christ.”