Local Students Become National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists

Don Gosney


There are times when we stand together in celebration of our neighbors because when they do well we feel as if we did well, too.

Such is the case where it was announced that two local students were named as National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists.

Jae-An Wang from El Cerrito HS and Christopher Tan from Pinole Valley HS were both named as two of the 16,000 semifinalists, which represents less than one percent of the nation’s high school seniors.  They now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7.400 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered nest spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition.  About 15,000 semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

Both Jae-An and Chris are also Ivy League Connection scholarship recipients.  Jae-An was awarded an ILC scholarship in 2015 where he attended the University of Chicago to study Physics of the Stars and again in 2016 where he took Engineering in Adaptive Technologies at Vanderbilt University.  Chris was awarded an Ivy League Connection Scholarship in 2016 where he attended the Academy of Social Justice at the University of Pennsylvania

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