Davis Ellis is a guy everybody may recognize on the Ruston High School campus.
After all, he did land a perfect score on the ACT test.
“Things have pretty much been the same I mean people treat me a little bit differently,” Ellis said.
However, since the national merit scholarship program selected him and two of his friends, Michael Bishop and David Griffin II to the semifinals, he’s got some company in the spotlight.
“It’s nice not having all the attention on you,” Ellis said.
“It’s nice being able to share it.”
Now they are brothers bonded by brains.
It’s a journey they say comes with a little bit of pressure.
“It’s always in our minds but you just have to remember to take it one day at a time,” Griffin said.
After all you have to pace yourself when you have a schedule like these guys. They aren’t just bookworms. All of them are involved in extracurricular activities.
“It’s kind of a busy day i started this morning at five in the morning, I went to cross country practice,
This afternoon i’ll go to band rehearsal and then go do some college essays,” Bishop said.
They have similar strengths, but they know their weaknesses too and they say working through it all makes the difference.
“I’ve always just kind of had this drive to succeed and do my best because that’s simply what i’m capable of doing,” Bishop said.
“I just want to be that kind of example for you know maybe another young black man who’s like me, a little nerdy, but you can make it,” Griffin said.
They’ll be the first to admit they don’t have it all figured out.
“[My] First goal is just finish high school as the bare minimum,” Bishop laughed.
However, now they have an opportunity to lean on each other for support.
“We’re not in this alone we’re in it together to achieve this together,” Griffin said.
Right now there are 16,000 semi-finalists. There will be another cut-off at 15,000 and then the program will select the final 8,000 students as the 2019 National Merit Scholars.
All applications will be submitted by October 10, 2018 and winners will be announced in February.