More than 100 high school students from Naperville-area public and private schools were named semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.
More than 1.5 million juniors in about 21,000 high schools entered program by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as an initial screening of entrants from which semifinalists are chosen.
The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.
The following students were selected to continue on to the finalist stage.
Naperville Central: Abaida Aisikaer, William Ao, Navya Bellamkonda, Matias Bonta, Andre Emery, Hannah Fewkes, Rishabh Jain, Saachi Kumar, Joseph Li, Sean Li, Jason Lin, Kaitlin Peng, Jacquelyne Qi, Brandon Sommerfeld, Kathryn Southon, Sydney Stephens, Raymond Tong, Hannah Zhang, Mellissa Zhang, Kyle Zhao, Vivian Zhao and Mitchell Zhen.
Naperville North: Kelly Chee, Eric Chen, Haley Cush, Anne Foley, Allen Gu, Helenna Gu, Jason Gu, Kasey Han, Kyra McKeska, Megan Melnikoff, Alyssa Noren, Sanjana Roy, Kevin Shi, Erin Spinner, Zehua Tan, Weirui Tong, Eric Wang, Kaitlyn Woods, Edward Wu, Zachary Xi, Neil Xu, Ann Zhao, Daniel Zhao, Brian Zheng, Kelly Zhou and Taylor Zhou.
Neuqua Valley: Raghav Anand, Dharma Ayer, Cecilia Chen, Rishi Chiratanagandla, Sanjana Gangadharan, Sahana Gopalan, Devan Grover, Anushka Gupta, Amulya Jasti, Lydia Jun, Seung Kim, Katherine Kingsbury, Jake Klimek, Grace Lee, Jonathan Li, Nicole Lies, Jessica Mann, Brendan McCluskey, Jared Moye, Ritika Nair, Arya Nalluri, Sakshi Rane, Courtney Redey, Camryn Rodrigues, Hope Seidman, Sahej Sharma, Muskan Sidhu and Carolyn Zeng.
Metea Valley: Emma Carlson, Nina Henry, Samuel Hus, Jim James, Rutika Karande, Emily Kohlberg, Maaheen Maajed, Maya Miriyala, Feina Niu, Karthik Pasupula, Aayush Patel, Nathan Pruyne and Tanya Sheth.
Waubonsie Valley: Ainsley Ahmadian, Ellen Aucoin, Emma Bridgeman, Nyah Bruce, Ashley Heidenrich, Rohan Iyer, Uma Kothuri, Makenzie Mann, Mohini Shanker and Kaitlin Skurnak.
Benet Academy: Finnian Adam, Benjamin Lee, Fernando Lisboa, Bronwyn McNamara, Catherine Pace, Christopher Perry, Mackenzie Relihan, Paul Skaluba and Rebekah Vires.
To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards.
About 15,000 students are expected to advance to the finalist level. They will be notified in February if they receive the designation.
All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists.