Original article by Thomas Tobin, Tampa Bay Times
A total of 126 students from around the Tampa Bay area were announced this week as semifinalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship program. They were among 16,000 semifinalists nationwide.
Taken together, they are said to represent the top 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors — what the National Merit organization calls “the nation’s scholastic champions.”
To put the 126 local semifinalists in perspective, they represent just a fraction of the senior class in Tampa Bay. Last year there were nearly 29,000 seniors in just the region’s public high schools.
Across the country, the newly named semifinalists will compete for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth a total of more than $31 million to be offered in the spring. Among the factors considered are a student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, leadership abilities, employment, other honors and awards and SAT scores. Students also must be recommended by a high school official and write an essay.
The vast majority of semifinalists will be named finalists in February.
Academy at the Lakes
Eugenia Alexeyeva, Michael Qi, Sean G. Rent
Land O’Lakes High
Armen Brotgandel, Edward Brotgandel, Komal Handoo, Summer R. Wylie
Wiregrass Ranch High
Chin-Chin Choi, Nalin Mehra, Neil Rupani