LAKE PLACID - Balancing school work and after school activities can be a challenge for any high school student.
For Kathryn Dawson, that includes full days of ski practice and preparation.
Dawson, a senior at the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid, has found the perfect balance, as she has been named as a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
"I am excited because it comes with the opportunity to get a lot of scholarship money," Dawson, who is looking at several Ivy League schools, said. "I have everything turned in that I need to have to the committee, now we just wait and see. I'm happy that this would give me the opportunity to pursue the things that I love."
The National Merit Scholarship is awarded to the top four-tenth of one-percent of students in the country and is based on PSAT and SAT scores, recommendations from a school principal and a personal essay.
Dawson started her schooling at NSA during the winter term of her sophomore year, and then became a full year student for her junior year.
Dawson said that balancing academics with skiing has been a challenge that has come down to learning how to spend time wisely.
"The primary thing is just time management," Dawson said. "Since the school is oriented around the student-athlete, most of the time that we have is scheduled out. The school does a good job helping us to manage our time and get our school work done as well as practice time and time to work on my skis."
Dawson said that she enjoys learning languages, including French and Turkish, and is a fan of "anything but history" when it comes to school subjects.
"In college, I want to study the mind," Dawson said. "I do not know in which way I want to go, but that is definitely the course I want to take."