St. Louis Catholic student National Merit finalist

By By Nichole Osinski / American Press

St. Louis Catholic senior Margaret Lie was named a 2012 National Merit Finalist and will be considered for more

than 8,000 Merit Scholarship Awards. She was the only private or public school student to receive this kind of recognition

in Calcasieu Parish this year.

The nationwide competition awards students based on PSAT test scores taken during their junior year.

“I feel so blessed about my recent achievements,” Lie said. “It proves that with diligence and a great support system of family,

friends and teachers, anything can be accomplished.”

Lie was also selected to be a delegate

for the 51st annual United States Senate Youth Program March 9-16 in

Washington, D.C.

She is one of only two students chosen from the state. She will

join 104 other student delegates from across the country to

attend the program’s Washington Week. The merit-based program

gives students a chance to study the federal government and

officials within the system.

Each student will also receive a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship.

“She is an exceptional student and is also well rounded,” said St. Louis Catholic High School Counselor Gisele Puckett. “She’s

got a lot of irons in the fire but always seems to accomplish everything.”

Lie, whose parents immigrated from

Indonesia, is the first person in her family to be born in the United

States. She is heavily

involved in both school and extracurricular activities. She has

spent much of her time doing ballet and is trained in playing

the violin, flute and the piano — which she has been playing for 13 years.

She said doing well academically is important because it is the basis for landing a job, finding a passion and it “functions

to facilitate communication to others,” something she believes makes ideas and aspirations a reality.

“The discipline learned from succeeding in academics is transferred to all aspects of one’s life and is one way to discover

your strengths,” she said.

Along with being chosen student of the year for her school, Lie has served as a senator for Student Council and is president

of the National Honor Society.

Accepted to Rice University, she plans

to major in biochemistry and cell biology with a pre-med concentration.

She said practicing

medicine has been a lifelong dream. At a young age she would spend

time with her father, a doctor, and in high school she

started volunteering at the Calcasieu Community Clinic, she said.

She attributes her achievements to her motivation to complete

assignments and a curiosity for learning. She said having

supportive parents has been another factor in academic accomplishments

and reaching her goals.

“Setting goals for myself is key for

staying focused. Having something to strive towards gives a necessary

impetus for the

task ahead of me,” she said. “Knowing that all the work I put in

now will have some benefit in the future helps me continue

to lay a strong foundation for myself and other students.”