64 HISD students named National Hispanic Recognition Program finalists

Sixty-four seniors from 15 Houston Independent School District high schools were recognized for their academic excellence as part of the College Board’s 32nd annual National Hispanic Recognition Program.

The HISD seniors are among about 5,000 students from across the country and abroad to be named finalists in the program, which colleges use to identify academically exceptional students of Hispanic or Latin descent to receive scholarships. The district more than doubled the number of honorees this year, up from 26 finalists last year.

“We are extremely proud to see so many more of our students honored by the National Hispanic Recognition Program for their academic achievements,” HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said. “We are committed to closing the achievement gap and making sure all students reach their full potential and graduate ready to take on the world.”

The National Hispanic Recognition Program honors Hispanic students who are top scorers on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) and earn a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher by the middle of their junior year of high school. About 250,000 Hispanic/Latin juniors take the PSAT every year, according to the College Board.

The HISD students attend Bellaire, Carnegie Vanguard, East Early College, Lamar, Milby, Reagan, Washington, and Westside high schools, as well as DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Eastwood Academy, High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Houston Academy for International Studies, Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men, Mount Carmel Academy, and Texas Connections Academy at Houston.

In 2014, the HISD College Readiness Department launched a new initiative to increase the number of National Hispanic Recognition, National Merit, and National Achievement scholars in the district by offering PSAT test preparation camps to rising eleventh graders.

HISD’s 2015-2016 National Hispanic Recognition Program finalists are:

Bellaire High School
Elisa Arango
Tomas Arango
Sandra Delgado
Ervin Graubard
Amanda Martinez

Carnegie Vanguard High School
Pamela Banner
Cole Bennette
Carlos Escobar
Bianca Davis
Leslie Gutierrez
Stephanie Hernandez
Solmarie Ipina
Alison Maillard
Joseph Palacios
Daisey Pena
John Perez
Benjamin Rodriguez
Janeth Rodriguez
Carlos Sosa
Jonathan Trujillo

DeBakey High School for Health Professions
Mourad Berrached
Karina Carcamo
Daniel Cota
Hannah Gilbonio
Lizeth Guzman
Celeste Hernandez
Edgar Lozano
Carlos Marquez
Jason Mendez
Daniel Moraled
Valerie Rodriguez
Giselle Santillana
Melissa Torres

East Early College High School
Yesenia Guevara
Cesar Rodriguez

Eastwood Academy
Omar Arreola
Jessica Benitez
Ariana Galvan
Jesus Maldonado

High School for the Performing & Visual Arts
Paris Bezanis
Bianca Canal
Kimberly Medrano
Samuel Molina
Halle Purdom
Gabriela Tallin
John Tovar

Houston Academy for International Studies
Andrea Aragon
Melody Moreno

Lamar High School
Pablo Cantu
Jesse Aranda-Comer
Eduardo Garcia
Danielle Singer
James Yokley

Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men
Marcos Lopez

 Milby High School
Oriana Cruz
Jesus Reyna

Mount Carmel Academy
Erika Ortiz

Reagan High School
Stefany Garcia

Texas Connections Academy at Houston
Angelica Ruedas

Washington High School
Jacob Morgan

Westside High School
Nathan Drury
Kaitlyn Gabaldon
Victor Morandi
Anneleise Sebesta