BINGHAMTON —  Samuel Breese, 18, valedictorian of Seton Catholic Central High School’s 2015 graduating class, received a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship, an honor that goes to less than one percent of high school students.

The application process for the scholarship started in Breese’s junior year with a qualifying exam administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corp., a non-profit oganization established in 1955 to honor students with high academic achievement. More than 1.5 million high school students take the test each year and only students with the highest scores are invited to fill out a meritscholarship application. Students being considered for scholarships are reviewed on academic performance, personal recommendations, community and school leadership activities, and the quality of an essay submitted by the student with the application.

Breese believes his classes at Seton Catholic Central taught him valuable study habits that helped push him toward receiving the scholarship. He also credits his parents with teaching him about hard work and the value of a Catholic school education.

Breese is now a freshman attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with plans to study computer science.

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