High school students from across the Cherry Creek School District are in the running for millions of dollars’ worth of academic scholarships that could help make the prospect of college a reality.
Earlier this month, the National Merit Scholarship Program announced the names of about 16,000 semi-finalists, high school seniors from across the country competing for a total of about $33 million in scholarship money. Dozens of students from several Cherry Creek schools made the cut; they’ll be considered for more than 7,000 scholarships to be announced in the spring.
The National Merit Scholarship Program culled the semifinalists from a group of more than 1 million entrants. They based the selection on scores on a qualifying test that includes critical reading, writing and mathematics portions. In Colorado, about 19,734 students took the test, and only 249 made the cut as semifinalists.
Sixteen of those semifinalists are seniors from Cherry Creek High School. Sanjna Bhartiya, Sabrina Brogren, Lubin Deng, Elizabeth Fugikawa, Thomas Fugikawa, Evan Hall, Jillian Kirchner, Lea Koob, Elizabeth Peterson, Hannah Peterson, Phoebe Pumilia, Shannon Searle, Connor Sendel, Sydney Senior, Karthik Vishwamitra and Christopher Zheng were all selected as semifinalists. What’s more, CCHS students Cristina Boada, Diego Fajardo, Patrick Hernandez and Daniel Wrigley were named as scholars in the 2014-2015 National Hispanic Recognition Program.
Eaglecrest High School seniors Thomas Brachtenbach, Akash Gaonkar, Gabriel Scott and Davis Manshardt were also named semifinalists, as were Grandview High School seniors Nathaniel Been, Colin Drown and Taewoo Kim. Smoky Hill High School seniors Ian Crocker, Robin Dickey, Mina Mungekar, Elizabeth Nichols and Mika Post also qualified. Cherokee Trail High School seniors John Barnhill, Raymond Lew and Sidharth Tyagi are also semi-finalists.
Finalists will be announced in February, and winners will be notified in the spring. National Merit scholarships worth $2,500 will be awarded on a state representational basis. According to the program, the final decision comes with no consideration of family financial circumstances, college choice or major or career plans.
-- Posted Sept. 17, 2014