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Blanchard earns Merit Scholarship

Beau Blanchard, right, earned the National Merit Scholarship, a 4-year full-ride scholarship valued at $148,000. Pictured is University of Central Florida President John Witt presenting and welcoming Beau to Florida. SUBMITTED PHOTO

A local high school senior has earned one of the country’s top academic honors.

Beau Blanchard, recent graduate from Detroit Lakes High School, was awarded a 4-year, full-ride National Merit Scholarship worth $148,000. Blanchard will use this scholarship to attend the University of Central Florida in Orlando.

Each year, scholarship winners are chosen from a pool of more than 16,000 semifinalists. These students are selected from the 1.5 million who take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholar Qualifying Test, which is administered during their junior year. After multiple applications, essays, letters of recommendation and a review of academic performance and extracurricular activities, the winners are chosen.

Blanchard stood out as a frontrunner in that group and earned the highest level of full National Merit Scholar.

He will be pursuing a bachelor of science in event management. He said he plans on using his degree to “produce large events like concerts and other stage shows for audiences of thousands around the world.”

During his high school career, Blanchard was active in Business Professionals of America, serving twice as state officer, and was first in the nation for business meeting management and second for banking and finance. He also interned for Cybis Communications at the National Leadership Conference.

Other activities included knowledge bowl and the KVLY McDonalds High School Challenge, Young Life, Philanthropy and Youth, Key Club, Math League and jazz and symphonic bands.

Blanchard is the son of Rich and Dawn Blanchard of Detroit Lakes and has two younger brothers, Ben and Bob.