25 FAU High Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

FAU High National Merit Semifinalists 2019

By brittany sylvestri | 9/17/2019

Twenty-five Florida Atlantic University High School students have been named semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Competition. These high school seniors will now have the opportunity to compete for 7,500 National Merit scholarships worth more than $32 million. Out of the more than 800 public, private and charter high schools in the state of Florida, FAU High is tied for No. 3 in the state for national merit semifinalists.

To become a National Merit semifinalist, more than 1.6 million high school juniors took the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The highest-scoring entrants in each state were named semifinalists and represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors. 

FAU High School students to earn this distinction include Diego Avendano, Lisa Campion, Yeramis Correlas Carmenate, Jack Elm, Nafi Faruki, Ranawalage Gomes, Adam Greer, Thomas Illiev, Manal Imran, Pedro Ivo Almeida, Lindsey Knowles, Benjamin Kramer, Jennifer Mendonca, Matthew Miller, Marla Minkoff, Ciara O’Neill, Sol-Be Park, Sagan Potenza, Kiran Shirazi, Joseph Somerdin, Manasa Tallapaneni, Divya Uppal, Elijah Villafane, Yasmine Zerrouki, and Chelsea Zuvieta. 

"We are so proud of the 25 students recognized as semifinalists and the 19 students recognized as commended scholars in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Competition," said Joel Herbst, Ed.D., assistant dean, PK-12 Schools and Educational Programs at FAU. This cohort represents the largest group of semifinalists and commended scholars from FAU High School since the school's opening in 2004."

To become a National Merit finalist, each semifinalist must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes their academic record, extracurricular activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, honors and awards. They also must be endorsed by a high school official, write an essay and perform well on the SAT. Finalists will be notified in February 2020, and the 2020 National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced next summer.
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) is a not-for-profit organization that identifies and honors academically talented U.S. high school students. Since its founding in 1955, NMSC has recognized more than 3.3 million students and provided more than $1.7 billion in scholarships.