CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A recent Ray High School graduate is looking ahead to her future after being recognized as one of the top students in the country.

Juliet Jones was honored as a National Merit Scholars finalist. Students with exceptionally high Pre-SAT scores apply for the award.

Jones was the only Corpus Christi Independent School District student to be chosen as a finalist.

According to Jones, she was surprised when her high school counselor told her the news but is happy to be recognized and is grateful she stayed focused on her studies.

"Looking back on it I have all these opportunities set out before because I was able to study and get the scores that I wanted," Jones said. "I think that's why it's essential just to be dedicated."

The National Merit Scholar award opens up several scholarship opportunities. Jones will be using the award to her advantage when she attends Rice University in the fall to study bio-engineering.