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Daso earns rank of National Achievement Scholar

MADISON – Gabrielle Daso, a senior at Bob Jones High School, has earned the title of National Achievement Scholar.

Gabrielle Daso, a National Achievement Scholar, at left, poses with her friend Julie Cunningham. (CONTRIBUTED)
Gabrielle Daso, a National Achievement Scholar, at left, poses with her friend Julie Cunningham. (CONTRIBUTED)

These scholars are African-American students with high-level scores on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT), the qualifying exam for competitions with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Ayomide Ayokanmbi also was named a National Achievement Scholar.

Daso’s study of biology, human anatomy and physiology show her “how individual little systems successfully collaborate to one giant, functioning being. I find it very impressive that the millions of processes of life work in such synchronization.”

Next semester, “I will enjoy health internship tremendously,” Daso said. “I’ll learn the inner and outer workings of a hospital, giving me insight as to my hopeful future profession as a physician.”

In other honors, she is an advance-placement scholar with distinction and a National Merit Semi-Finalist.

Daso belongs to Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA), Mu Alpha Theta, Destination Imagination, Red Cross Club, French Club, Citizens of the World, National Honor Society and honor societies for English, science and French.

For American Red Cross, Daso volunteers to help veterans. “With HOSA, we’ve raised money for charities involving serious diseases,” she said.

“I’m a nerd deep down who loves to stick her nose in a book and get away from the stresses of the world,” Daso said. However, she does enjoy teaching herself to dance and “no longer jerks around like an awkward penguin. I love watching action movies — the more guns, guts and glory, the better.”

Gabrielle’s parents are Endwell and Princess Daso.

“Both the National Merit and National Achievement semifinalists (for black Americans only) will receive the same scholarship opportunities,” college and career advisor Sheila Roberts said.

From more than 400 Alabama high schools, only 20 have National Achievement Scholars, Bob Jones Principal Robby Parker said. Florence High School and Bob Jones are the only public schools or schools without entry requirements to have two scholars.

Application-only schools Loveless Academic Magnet Program, Jefferson County Baccalaureate School and Alabama School of Fine Arts have six, three and two scholars, respectively.

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