By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Parrish Pipestem, a student at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Okla., has been named a semifinalist in the 66th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program. He is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians with Osage and Otoe-Missouria Nation heritage as well.
“Parrish came home from College Horizons, a Native pre-college program, encouraged to study to become a National Merit Scholar,” said Brenda Pipestem, Parrish’s mother and a Cherokee Supreme Court Justice. “Sgi to family, Eastern Band leaders, Sequoyah Fund, Running Strong for American Indian Youth, and Kituwah, LLC who have supported his focus on academics.”
Nationwide, over 16,000 semifinalists were named who will compete for just over 7,600 National Merit Scholarships totaling over $30 million. Information from the National Merit Scholarship Corp. (NMSC) states, “The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.”
Around 90 percent of the semifinalists will advance to the finalist level according to the NMSC and about one-half of those will receive a scholarship.
Earlier this year, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Indian Student Honor Society, and in 2019 Pipestem was selected for a three-week pre-college program, through the Center for Native American Youth, at Columbia University.
Pipestem is active culturally and has participated in the Grayhorse In-Lon-Schka, an Osage Nation ceremonial dance held annually, since he was 6-years-old. He was one of 10 people to receive a 2019-20 Dreamstarter grant from the Running Strong for American Indian Youth program.