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September 29, 2022

Badin’s J.J. Even named National Merit ‘Commended Student’

J.J. Even has made the most of his Badin High School experience, and one major honor came his way recently when the senior was named a Commended Student in the National Merit Scholarship competition.

“I was pretty excited,” nodded Even, whose given name is Joshua Jordan. “I had been doing some research and I was hoping that I would make the cutoff.”

While Even will not continue in the scholarship competition, his score in the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test was in the top four percent of the some 1.6 million American high school students who took the test in the fall of their junior year.

“J.J. has really embraced his opportunities at Badin,” BHS Principal Patrick Keating said. “He has consistently challenged himself in the courses he has taken and has become involved as a leader in so many different facets of the school. From the classroom, to Student Council, to service, J.J. continues to embody the beliefs of Badin High School.”

J.J. is the son of Rob and Christy Even of Fairfield and a graduate of Sacred Heart School.

A strong student, Even said he “focused on academics. Just pay attention, ask questions, turn things in on time. If you’re struggling with something, let the teacher know – don’t keep it to yourself.”

Even is the president of Badin Student Council, a member of the Service Leadership Board, a Student Ambassador, a starter on the boys’ soccer team, and started on the boys’ volleyball team that won the 2022 state championship in June.

“That was so much fun,” he said. “That’s something I’ll never forget.”

Of his Badin High School experience, he added, “It’s been amazing. I could not have asked for anything better from high school. I’ve been able to do so many things and just been a part of so much.”

Noting that his mother has opened his eyes through her work with autistic students, Even said he planned to major in Neuroscience in college.

“I don’t know if I want to work in a hospital or as a psychiatrist,” he said. “But I will probably pursue a PhD. It’s a fascinating field.”

His current top college choice is Indiana University, and he’s also looking closely at Florida State, Loyola of Chicago, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

Even is one of three National Merit students in the Class of 2023 from Badin – Mary Giffen and Jimmy Zettler were earlier named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. They will continue in the process to be eligible for some $30 million in scholarships awarded each year by the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

Of the 1.6 million American high school students who are tested as juniors, some 50,000 are recognized by the program – 16,000 semifinalists and 34,000 Commended Students.

“Those being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” said a spokesman for the NMSC. “We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

The National Merit Scholarship program was established in 1955 with the goal of “honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.”

Contact: Dirk Q. Allen, or (513) 869-4490

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Badin’s J.J. Even named National Merit ‘Commended Student’