Outstanding Academic Profile: Adam Lake


Adrian Maddox

Adam Lake uses his computer to help him study during a class lecture in Advance Placement Psychology.

Adrian Maddox, Reporter

Each year, 16,000 students qualify for the National Merit Scholarship through the PSAT by scoring in the top 1%. From the 16,000 qualifying students, 7,500 students are selected and receive $2,500 for each year they’re in college. As a semifinalist, Adam Lake is of the top 1%.

Lake entered his senior year thinking about college and scholarships. The National Merit Scholarship caught his eye due to the requirements. Lake said, “It looked like an easy way to possibly get scholarship money, something to put on a college application.”

Lake has taken Advanced Placement(AP) classes throughout his high school career, as he readies himself for his college career. Though Lake has yet to decide the college he plans to attend after high school, he has degree ideas in hand. Lake said, “I would like to work in politics, but not as an elected official. Probably be a lobbyists, analyst, or adviser of some sort. Right now, I am applying to colleges to get an education to pursue that goal, and have mostly decided on what colleges to apply to based on their reputations in political science.”

Outside of the school day, Lake advances in his interest of working in politics by taking Speech and Debate, where he challenges the ideas of others through a variety of speeches or physical debates. During the Speech and Debate season last year, Lake created a speech including the benefits of genetic engineering where he used persuasive arguments to tune in into the empathy of the audience. Lake commented, “In that speech, I made a conscious effort to try and use arguments that would appeal to others, such as arguing that genetic engineering could be used to increase people’s empathy, when in reality I would prefer the opposite, or addressing concerns I don’t remotely care about, but others do, while not spending time on things that do worry me, like the possibility of reduced genetic diversity.”

This speech was one of Lakes projects he felt most proud of. Lake said, “ I also did a good job (by my standards at least) of using emotional appeals, even though I really don’t understand them and their appeal.”

Lake designs tabletop games in his free time. He began his creation of tabletop games when he was in elementary school, inspired by an aunt. Lake said, “The first one I can remember is back in elementary school, when an aunt I have who likes tabletop games as well had brought her Exalted 2e rulebook once when visiting, and I read part of it, went “this seems interesting”, and made a poorly thought out, badly designed, Role Play Game (RPG) of my own.”

Since then, he has worked one a few other games with various themes. Lake usually sticks with games around war; however, he has worked outside of the theme, playing with ideas that popped in his head. Though he has never spent enough time on a game to edit it completely, lake continues to create games. Currently lake is working on card games, he said, “I am currently working on another card game about space colonization, although I definitely have designed less games recently than during middle school due to school and extra-curriculars taking up more time.”

Though the scholarship is a reflection of scholarly achievement, it has little impact on his post high school life, or his emotions in general. Lake said, “I probably would have little to no reaction. I am not an outwardly emotional person, and winning the scholarship has little bearing on my life plans. Besides, I would rather be proud of projects I actually put work into than a test I took without really preparing.”

Lake will continue his studies, working towards a college education. The National Merit scholarship awards its scholarship money in May, where the 7,500 final students will receive word on if they get the money. Lake will not let the scholarship impact which school he goes to, he sticks with the school that will be best for his studies in political science.