All-star scholar

Bluffton High School Senior Thomas Gwozdz is a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program, where he is competing with other national finalists for 7,600 college scholarships worth about $33 million.  About 1.4 million high school juniors from more than 22,000 American high schools initially entered the 2015 National Merit Scholarship Program.  Gwozdz has a grade-point average of 5.144, and when he graduates this spring, he will have taken 10 Advanced Placement courses that will allow him to enter college as sophomore.  In addition, Gwozdz runs cross country, is treasurer of the National Honor Society and serves as concertmaster (lead violinist) for the Bluffton High School and as first violin for the Beaufort Youth Orchestra.