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Azeezat Adeleke, 17, a student at North Point High School and student member of the Charles County Board of Education, was named a semifinalist for the National Achievement Scholarship.

The National Achievement Program is offered to African-American high school seniors; 160,000 students competed this year.

Students request consideration for the program when they take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test as high school juniors.

Semifinalists are the highest-scoring entrants for each region.

Adeleke said she knew about the scholarship and set a goal to obtain the achievement.

She said she took the PSAT her freshman and sophomore years and worked to get better scores each time, knowing the junior year PSAT score was what mattered for the competition.

Adeleke scored 213 out of 240. She said she felt good about her score but wasn’t sure if it would be among the best, where it needed to be to get the recognition.

She said she was pleased to find out she is a semifinalist in the program.

“I wanted to prove to myself that I can do this,” Adeleke said. She also wanted to prove to herself that she stacks up to students from across the country.

North Point Principal Kimberly Hill said Adeleke is a “quiet leader.”

Hill said many leaders like to be front and center, making themselves known.

“Azeezat leads from the center, listens to everybody in the group and helps guide them to decisions,” Hill said.

She said Adeleke is a hard worker and is doing well with a difficult course load.

“She’s the kind of student every principal wants to have,” Hill said.

For those interested in applying for the scholarship, Adeleke said she would “encourage people to take the PSAT seriously.”

To advance to the finalist level of competition, semifinalists must present a record of high academic performance throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by their high school principal, write an essay and have SAT scores confirming their PSAT performance.

Adeleke will have to fill out applications listing extracurricular activities. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the model United Nations and the Student Government Association, and serves on the school board.

Board Chairwoman Roberta S. Wise said the school board is very pleased with Adeleke and that as a school board member, she is well-spoken and willing to express her opinions.

Finalists will be announced in April.

gphillips@somdnews.com