Two Delaware Hayes High School students were named semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Seniors Rena Ouyang and Rebecca Young were two of approximately 16,000 announced semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The organization made the announcement on Wednesday, Sept. 9, adding the 16,000 students will go on to compete for more than $31 million in scholarships next spring.
The organization said to be considered for the scholarship award and for the finalist title, the semifinalists must fulfill several requirements. It is expected that 90% of semifinalists will attain finalist standing. About half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship and earn the Merit Scholar title.
Ouyang and Young said they were automatically entered into the competition when they took the PSAT test during their junior year.
“I was excited and surprised to find out I’d been named a semifinalist,” Young said in an email Sunday.
She added she’s not stressing out about becoming a finalist, and she’s proud of her achievement.
“I’m not very nervous about whether I will become a finalist or not because I’m proud of how I did, and I think just getting to be a semifinalist is a good accomplishment,” Young said.
Ouyang said in an email Sunday she was excited to find out she’d been named a semifinalist, but she added it’s the people who support her that deserve the recognition.
“I feel lucky and honored,” Ouyang said. “Overall, I am grateful for the amount of support that I receive from my family and teachers regarding my education, so they deserve the majority of the credit.”
Similar to Young, Ouyang said she’s not nervous about the competition but is hopeful that she’ll become a finalist.
“Being named as a semifinalist is an accomplishment in itself, so I am not too nervous,” Ouyang said. “However, I am going to try my best to become a finalist in hopes that I can earn some money for college!”
Below are additional semifinalists from other Delaware County high schools:
• Homeschool — Jadon Haller
• Berlin — David Kuhtenia, Madison Lapid, Yusuf Rasheed, Bennett Toftner, Sydney Webb
• Olentangy — Kamakshi Iragamreddy, Aakash Nallari, Isha Sawhney, Colin Somerville, Abigail Swamidoss
• Orange — Eamon Hurley, Pranav Krishnan, Yash Patel, Carter Pedela, Kaili Tu
• Liberty — Reem Ahmed, Alexander Chen, Samuel Deng, Ryann Joseph, Sarthak Mohanty, Sydney Rohl, Sreya Sakhamuru, Sindhu Sharma, Katherine Sullenberger, Sona Thompson, Dorian Tricaud, Curtis Zhi, Cathy Zhu
The finalists and scholarship winners will be announced in 2021.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.