by Jim Boyle
Mathea Krogstad, an Elk River High School senior attending Bethel College full time as Post Secondary Enrollment Option student, has been named a semifinalist in the 58th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
The Zimmerman youth is one of about 16,000 semifinalists in the program. She’s also one of only two students with ties to the Elk River Area School District. Erik Bremer, a Rogers High School student and the son of Twins announcer Dick Bremer, is also one of the semifinalists.
“I got my score back and I knew there would be a chance,” Bremer said of being a semifinalist. “To be recognized … it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”
The Star News was able to inform Krogstad that she was a semifinalist.
“That’s awesome,” Krogstad said while on the campus of Bethel College where she lives in freshman housing.
Last year she attended Anoka-Ramsey College as a PSEO student, and this year she ventured out even further. She plans to study psychology, but is not exactly sure what she wants to do when she grows up.
“I just know I want to be successful whatever I do,” she said. “I know the effort I put in on the front end will give me more options.”
She is already listed as a sophomore at Bethel and should be able to graduate by the time she is 20 or 21 years old.
“I just love learning and to be able to apply what I learn,” she said.
Krogstad, the daughter and Jeff and Julie Krogstad, and Bremer have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,300 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.
To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.
“It’s a very involved application with lots of background information,” Bremer said. “We do an application and we find out in January when the next round of cuts are made.”
Part of the qualifying includes participation in school activities, and Bremer isn’t lacking in that area. He plays on the baseball team, and is active in student council, National Honor Society, mentoring, tutoring and Knowledge Bowl.
As part of his student council duties, Bremer emceed part of last year’s Snow Week coronation, and if he was natural with a microphone in front of a big audience, it might just be genetic.
Bremer’s family includes sister, Hannah (a RHS sophomore), mom, Heidi, and dad, Dick.
Dick Bremer is the longtime Minnesota Twins TV announcer, but Erik said his friends in Rogers accept him for who he is and that being Dick’s son “isn’t a big deal.”
But might he follow in his dad’s footsteps?
“It’s obviously a great job he has. It’s something I’d love to do,” he said, adding that his life with a well-known dad “is who I am but not what I am.”
About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and more than half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.
(Editor’s note: Aaron Brom of ECM-Sun contributed to this report.)