Five seniors have been named semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship program and are now eligible to compete for scholarships.
The five semifinalists are Melanie Abeygunawardana, Raghu Vaddempudi, Alexis Wache, Kevin Zhang, and Ray Zhao. These students are among the highest scoring entrants on the PSAT/NMSQT. In order to advance to finalist standing, students must continue to meet high academic standards and all other requirements of the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Here is some information about each of the semi-finalists:
Melanie Abeygunawardana has been accepted to the Iowa Young Writer's Workshop and hopes to one day publish a book.
Raghu Vaddempudi achieved the Honors level in the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad and hopes to one day become an engineer or teacher.
Alexis Wache enjoys participating in the Model U.N. and hopes to be accepted into medical school.
Kevin Zhang recently participated in a research project at Stony Brook University and hopes to become a physician or medical researcher. He collects and cultivates carnivorous plants.
Ray Zhao said that one of his proudest moments was breaking the 18-minute mark in a 5K race. He plans to pursue a career in science or medicine.
"In addition to being some of our brightest Hatters, these students are truly all very passionate about their extra-curricular endeavors and also some of the most kind students with whom I have ever worked," said Guidance Counselor Marcey Varano.