Twenty-eight Manual students earn National Merit Semifinalist title

Molly Gregory

The class of 2022 contains 28 students whose PSAT scores earned them the title of National Merit Semifinalist. The National Merit Scholarship Competition will open up many opportunities for these students, including special admission consideration for colleges and scholarships.

Front row, left to right: Vy Pham (12, HSU), Shridha Rajeswar (12, MST), Erin Yeo (12, MST), Gia Mendiratta (12, MST), Kaetlyn Buss (12, YPAS), Sanjana Chenna (12, MST).

Second row: Kyle Sanderfer (12, MST), Malcolm Rosenthal (12, HSU), Aditi Jha (12, MST), Audrey Neukomm (12, MST), Sonia Nagpal (12, MST), Luc Fabing (12, HSU).

Third row: James Gonzales (12, MST), Iman Dashti (12, MST), Shubh Gupta (12, MST), Sai Jeyaprakash Reddy (12, MST), Daniel Harrison (12, MST), Shreyas Kar (12, MST), Jonah Crenshaw (12, MST).

Back row: Satchel Walton (12, J&C), Samuel Powers (12, MST), Mihir Barve (12, MST), Michael Xie (12, MST), Esther Biro (12, MST), Sanat Tiwari (12, MST), Benjamin Mowery (12, HSU).

Not pictured: Angela Zhang (12, MST) and Maryam Contractor (12, MST).

Out of the 28 scholars, 22 are MST students, 4 are HSU students, one is a YPAS student and one is a J&C student.

One MST student is happy about his achievement, but recognizes that standardized tests do not measure all of one’s talents. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be named a National Merit Semifinalist, but at the end of the day it’s just a test I did well on,” Shubh Gupta (12, MST) said.

Other winners were surprised to hear the news. “It was not something I expected, so I was very surprised. I got lucky on the test, but I’m very excited,” Erin Yeo (12, MST) said.

MST student Gia Mendiratta (12, MST) feels relieved that she achieved the award. “I’m loving it, not gonna lie. [I have] a lot less anxiety, Mendiratta confessed.

The number of semifinalists is lower this year than last, with 2020’s number standing at 32.

26 of the 28 National Merit Semifinalists show off their less serious sides. Photo by Jordyn Coyle.