Blake Nelson, a senior at Minnewaska Area High School has been awarded Academic Honors from the College Board National Recognition Programs, it was announced recently by Minnewaska Area Schools (MAS).

Blake Nelson, son of Peter and Kari Nelson, is set to embark on his academic journey at the University of St. Thomas. Having already completed eight college courses at Minnewaska Area Schools, Blake is now actively engaged in an additional two courses for the second semester of the 2023-2024 school year.

The National Recognition Programs grant underrepresented students academic honors that can be included on college and scholarship applications and connect students with universities across the country, helping them meaningfully connect to colleges and stand out during the admissions process, it was stated.  Colleges and scholarship programs identify students awarded National African American, Hispanic, Indigenous, and/or Rural/Small Town Recognition through the College Board’s Student Search Service.

Beyond his academic achievements, Blake is involved in student council and is the local President of Business Professionals of America, band, choir, jazz band, jazz choir, soccer,  golf, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and National Honor Society. Blake was the team captain for soccer. He recently started his own business.

The high school counselor, Jennifer Ring, expressed her excitement by stating, “We’re delighted to acknowledge Blake Nelson for earning this recognition. We take immense pride in his accomplishments both in the classroom and on College Board assessment.”

Students who may be eligible have a GPA of 3.5 or higher and have excelled on the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10, or earned a score of 3 or higher on two or more AP Exams, and are African American or Black, Hispanic-American or Latinx, Indigenous, and/or attend school in a rural area or small town.

Eligible students will be invited to apply during their sophomore or junior year and will be awarded at the beginning of the next school year. Students will receive their awards in time to be included in their college and scholarship applications.

“We want to honor the hard work of these students through the College Board National Recognition Programs. This program creates a way for colleges and scholarship programs to connect directly with underrepresented students whom they are hoping to reach,” said Tarlin Ray, College Board senior vice president of BigFuture. “We hope the award winners and their families celebrate this prestigious honor, and it helps them plan for their big future.”