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Lambert, South seniors named National Merit Scholars

National Merit $2,500 Scholars

South Forsyth High School
• Venkata Sai Srikrishna Duvvuri, computer science
• Roshan Konda, engineering

Lambert High School
• Elynna Y. Chang, biomedical engineering
• Natasha T. Ramaswamy, medicine

Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholars

South Forsyth High School
• Yaxuan Wang, neuroscience, McKesson Scholarship

Lambert High School
• Kevin L. Tao, biomedical engineering, Leidos Inc. Scholarship
• Hari V. Pingali, investment banking, Siemens Scholarship

Seniors from two Forsyth County high schools were named National Merit Scholars, a prestigious distinction associated with college scholarships based on top-notch academic performance.

Two South Forsyth High School students and two Lambert High School students were awarded the signature $2,500 in college funding from the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Corporation, chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 finalists.

National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies,” said a news release from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

“To secure the $2,500 scholarship is a phenomenal accomplishment that is truly worthy of such distinction,” Lambert Principal Gary Davison said.

The number of winners in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.

Venkata Sai Srikrishna Duvvuri and Roshan Konda are two of our top math students. Both were accepted to the Georgia Tech distance math program where they successfully completed linear algebra and multivariable calculus as a high school senior," South Principal Laura Wilson said. "Srikrishna and Roshan participated on math team and were contributory to our third place standings at the Clemson Math Tournament last year. Additionally, Srikrishna was the high scorer for South on part 1 of the Kennesaw State Math Competition this year. He also qualified for the AIME (American Invitational Mathematics Examination) and was one of only three students at South to do so. We are very proud of both of these young men and all of their accomplishments."

Scholars for the one-time payout were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors who appraised information submitted by both the student and their high schools, including their academic record and difficulty level of subjects studied and graded earned, scores from two standardized tests, contributions and leadership in school and community activities, an essay, and a recommendation written by a high school official.

In April, one student from South and two from Lambert were named among the more than 1,000 Merit Scholars who were awarded a corporate-sponsored scholarship.

About 200 corporations, company foundations and other business organizations funded scholarships based on their own standards for finalists who are children of employees, residents of communities they serve or who plan to pursue college majors or careers they wish to encourage.

Most of the corporate-sponsored scholarships are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $500 to $10,000 per year, though some provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000.

Recipients can use their scholarship at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2015 when more than 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMQT), which served as an initial screening of entrants.

The 16,000 highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than 1 percent of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semifinalists last fall.

“I am very proud of all of our 53 students who made the cut for National Merit semifinalists this year,” Davison said. “Both semifinalists and scholarship recipients are school records for us and trending in such a wonderful way.”

On June 7 and 17, some 4,000 college-sponsored National Merit scholarships will be announced,

By that time, of the 15,000 finalists, about 7,500 will have earned the title of Merit Scholar, having received a total of more than $32 million in college scholarships.