Perham High School senior Jackson Brown received one of the nation’s highest honors as a Commended Student in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program, Perham High School Principal Ehren Zimmerman announced.
Brown, the son of Chris and Shari Brown, entered the National Merit Scholarship Program, a nationwide competition for recognition and awards conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in October of 2021.
About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2023 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 students who entered the 2023 competition by taking the 2021 PSAT/NMSQT.
“I did not know that it was going to happen. When I originally got my PSAT score, I knew it was good, but it was outside of the range that was expected for the National Merit Scholarship. I knew I was not going to get the scholarship itself, but just being recognized and being in the running for it, is cool,” Brown said. “It is crazy. You think that is a lot of people (50,000) but on the scale of how many high school seniors there are that took the PSAT, that is not very many.”
Brown advises younger students and classmates to always pay attention, always learn and always improve their study habits. Brown intends on attending a four-year college after high school majoring in Philosophy. If that is not offered at the school he plans on attending, he will look into the English field with a Literature emphasis. After he finishes his four-year degree, Brown said he intends on going to law school.
Brown, in his spare time, which is limited since he works at Pizza Ranch after school and is involved with the Knowledge Bowl Team and the Pep Band, likes to play chess, cheer on the Vikings, and loves watching football and baseball. He fishes in the summer and is an active member of his church. Brown has been involved in Knowledge Bowl since seventh grade and said it has had a significant impact on him.
“I love the competitiveness and the atmosphere with people who enjoy that kind of trivia and do my best at meets,” Brown said. “It is competitive, but you are not competing against each other. Everyone is trying to build each other up. If someone knows something and you know something else, you exchange ideas, and everyone is learning something.”
He said one of the keys is taking advantage of the resources that are available to students.
“You have to make the best of them, that’s the big part,” Brown said. “No matter how many resources you have at your disposal, you still have to make the best of them. It does not matter if you surround yourself with the best people, the best idea, it is still up to you with what you do with it.”
Brown said the main thing is just believing in yourself, try your best and do not say it does not matter.
“Always try your best in everything and just be yourself, which is what it comes down to,” Brown said. “If you are putting however many hours studying, or playing a sport–just do yourself, do what makes you happy.”