Five high school students who attend schools in The Almanac's coverage area – Menlo School, Menlo-Atherton High School and Sacred Heart Preparatory School – have been named winners of individual $2,500 scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corp., a privately funded nonprofit based in Illinois, according to a May 8 announcement.
The Menlo School senior is Thomas A. Woodside; Sacred Heart seniors are Rayan H. Rizvi and Antonio M. Caceros; and M-A seniors are Cecilia Hanna and Anna Quinlan, according to a National Merit Scholarship Corp. press release.
Caceros and Woodside are interested in careers in computer science, the statement said. Hanna is interested in academia, and Rizvi in politics. Quinlan, who also won the 2018 18th Congressional District's App Challenge for creating an insulin pump app, is interested in bioinformatics.
The awards are given for a combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies, the statement said.
The 2,500 scholarship winners were chosen from a pool of more than 15,000 students. The nonprofit will distribute scholarships totaling more than $31 million.
A committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors choose the scholars. They consider a student's academic record, standardized test scores, contributions and leadership in school and community activities, an essay written by the finalist, and a recommendation letter from a high school official.