Great Kids |

Many apply, only few are chosen.

Erik Williams, the St. John the Baptist High School valedictorian for 2019, has been selected as a winner of the National Merit Scholarship, the West Islip school has announced.

Only 7,500 students from among 1.6 million earn such a distinction each year, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation Each applicant takes a PSAT/NMSQT test every year, and the top 50,000 students with the highest scores qualify to be recognized in the Scholarship Program as finalists.

The finalists then compete for the country’s most highly regarded scholarship.

According to St. John’s, in addition to being chosen as his class valedictorian and, now, a National Merit Scholar, Erik played varsity lacrosse and ran varsity track, participated in student council and the National Honor Society, and volunteered at the YMCA.

He also conducted research at Mather and Lenox Hill hospitals. In the fall, he will be attending Cornell, majoring in neuroscience, with a minor in computer science.