Local National Merit Scholarship winners announced

Seven seniors from Southern Nevada have been named 2007 National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners. In all, 13 winners from Nevada were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors.

More than 15,000 high school seniors were scholarship finalists, with approximately 2,500 being named recipients.

The winners are: Sol Lee from Green Valley High School; Sabrina Ragaller from Coronado High School; Tesla Birnbaum from Arbor View High School; Sara Nielson from Silverado High School; Shaan Patel from Clark High School; Jessica Sasaoka from Palo Verde High School; and Moriah Tobin from Valley High School.

The National Merit Scholarship Corp. also named six Southern Nevada seniors as recipients of the college-sponsored National Merit Scholarship. The winners will receive $500 to $2,000 annually for as many as four years of undergraduate study at the college or university financing the scholarship.

The recipients are: Michael Noback of Green Valley; Stephanie Salerno of Coronado; Kaitlyn Hughes of Centennial High School; Aaron Macris of Faith Lutheran Junior-Senior High School; Katherine Ven of Clark; and Aruhn Venkat of Bishop Gorman High School.

In addition, Jennifer Cutshall of Palo Verde was named one of two Nevada recipients of the corporate-sponsored National Merit SAIC Scholarship.

In other youth news:

* Dillon Tatum, a senior at Nevada State High School, recently was named the Nevada winner of the nationwide essay contest “When an Apple a Day Isn’t Enough.” Dillon was awarded $250 for his winning entry on health care, which was published in the Campaign for Children’s Health Care booklet.

For the contest, students from age 9 to 18 were asked to explain how the ability to obtain health services they need affects their lives and the lives of those around them. More than 4,500 students submitted entries, and 56 winners were selected.

* Las Vegan Heather Wilder, 13, was one of 27 youths recognized in the Nestlé Very Best In Youth national award program. As an honoree, Heather will receive $1,000 to donate to a charity of her choice and an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony in July. Heather has co-authored several booklets on her experience in the foster care system to inform and aid other foster care children.

* The Las Vegas Little Theatre, 3920 Schiff Drive, hosts its annual Acting for Children and Teens Summer Workshop today through Aug. 4. The workshop will teach children beginning to advanced theater skills, theater terms, stage movement and voice training. The fee is $375 for ages 9 and up with sessions at 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and $80 for ages 6 to 8 with sessions 2-4 p.m. on Saturdays. Registration for the workshop ends June 14 and enrollment is limited. The workshop will end with a production of the “Wizard of Oz” in August. Call 218-2374 for more information.

If you know of a worthy candidate for this column, mail information to Youth Spotlight, Las Vegas Review-Journal, P.O. Box 70, Las Vegas, NV 89125-0070, or send faxes to 383-4676.

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