Nathan McKerley—Awarded National Merit Scholarship

According to Nathan, “We received a pamphlet in the mail about City High and it got me interested. One of the main reasons was that they have a FIRST® Robotics Team – the main robotics competition.” So while his sister chose nearby Mt. Lebanon High School, principally because of her interest in sports, Nathan chose the urban charter option and by all accounts, City High was the perfect fit.

Out of more than 50,000 students nationwide, Nathan became a finalist and then a recipient of both the National Merit Scholarship as well as the Presidential Award from Rochester Institute of Technology. He will be attending the Kate Gleason College there, where the focus is on the more theoretical aspects of engineering.

According to this honor student, “Robotics has mechanical, electrical and computer sciences. I had to figure out which of these areas to focus on – after working on a team, I have decided I definitely want to go into mechanical. At least focus on that.”

He got this exposure through his City High internship program at an engineering company called 4moms. Featured in Inc. magazine, 4moms designs and manufactures innovative juvenile products using robotics technology.

“My internship was a phenomenal opportunity. Most high schoolers don’t have that opportunity. And everyone who goes here gets to do that. At 4moms, I was on a new product development team and met really interesting people… a lot of the type of engineers that I want to emulate. That experience was probably one of the best.”

As his City High senior project, Nathan has chosen “hobby robotics”, basically about people who tinker with robotics in their spare time and their garages (sounds like Apple’s Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak doesn’t it?).

City High has every right to be proud of this highly motivated student, especially as he has earned the distinction and a $2500 scholarship to go with it. There’s plenty of pride to go around. As Nathan reports, “My extended family is really excited, too. My grandmother has told everyone at her YMCA that she has a merit scholar as a grandson, which is kind of embarrassing.”


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