Return to Headlines

Cibola senior earns multiple national awards

Isabella Olin Cibola High School student Isabella Olin has recently been awarded with multiple national honors as she heads into the final months of her senior year.

Olin was selected for the College Board National Hispanic Recognition Program, is a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program, and earned the distinction of Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar with Honor.

“These accomplishments are a recognition of her hard work,” CHS Counselor Christie McMorris said. “She enjoys the work, the practice, the challenges that she has encountered during her academic career. To her, it is the journey toward discovery that has its own rewards.”

According to McMorris, Olin began asking questions at a young age about the nature of things. Her mother, Ruth, says, “since she was a child, she has been very curious.”

In elementary school Olin was part of a Johns Hopkins program for gifted students, working on 8th grade math as a 3rd grader. While in high school, she and her team won a science fair competition by studying the microbial fuel cell using bacteria.

“In science, as well as music and other extracurricular activities that she has been a part of, Isabella is focused on solutions,” McMorris added. “In all of these areas, she is results-driven, seeking solutions to life’s problems and ways to implement them.”

As a National Hispanic Program winner, colleges and universities across the country will see Olin’s potential and power of her curiosity and her commitment to learning. Per the website, the College Board National Recognition Programs grant students’ academic honors that can be included on college and scholarship applications. Colleges use these honors to identify students from underrepresented groups who have excelled on their PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, or AP Exams and in their classrooms.

The National Merit Scholarship Program by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is a non-profit organization that is supported by approximately 400 independent corporate organizations and higher education institutions. Olin has earned recognition by both College Board and National Merit because of her outstanding performance on the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). As a sophomore, Olin earned a perfect score on the PSAT.

The AP Scholar with Honor distinction is based on Olin’s scores on several AP exams and is awarded to AP students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 (on a scale of 1-5) on all AP exams taken, as well as scores of 3 or higher on 4 or more of these exams.

Olin plans to attend either the University of Arizona Honors College or Stanford University in the fall. Her intention is to major in physics, with an eye toward particle or nuclear physics. She is interested in the potential for renewable energy that nuclear physics represents.

Kevin Swearingin