55 HISD students from seven schools named National Merit finalists

Fifty-five seniors from seven Houston Independent School District high schools have qualified as finalists in the 61st annual National Merit Scholarship Program and will now vie for more than $32 million in college scholarships.

The students are among about 15,000 from across the country to advance to the finalist level, allowing them the opportunity to continue in the academic competition.

They attend Bellaire, Carnegie Vanguard, Lamar and Lee high schools, DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Eastwood Academy, and the High School for the Performing & Visual Arts.

The National Merit Scholarship Program provides college scholarships to academically talented U.S. high school students who score well on the Preliminary SAT. Scholarships are provided to students from each state who have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for college success.

Roughly 1.5 million high school juniors from across the country took the 2014 PSAT, which serves as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Less than 1 percent  — or 16,000 students —were named semifinalists, which included 64 HISD students. Only about 7,400 students will receive scholarships, which will be awarded beginning later this month and through July.

HISD’s 2015-2016 National Merit Scholarship finalists are:

Bellaire High School

Tomas Arango

Dinah A. Baum

Jackson Chang

Yujie Chen

Alan W. Dai

Teresa J. Datta

Elijah M. Defferari

Amy Fan

James Fang

Yijun Hu

Chijindu M. Iheanacho

Lauren Li

Zilu Li

Jinjie Ling

Amber E. Liu

Edward M. Ni

Samhith Punukula

Grant T. Su

Christina Tan

Tiara P. Tanugraha

Suneal Vemuri

Jennifer Wang

Liana Wang

Benjamin E. Williams

Antony N. Yun


Carnegie Vanguard High School

Madeline E. Davet

Elizabeth O. Hartzell

Jonah R. Levine

Patrick A. Revilla

Annum Sadana

Nathanial K. Sandweiss

Victoria L. Songyang


DeBakey High School for Health Professions

Akshaya V. Annapragada

Siddharth C. Gorantla

Nishaa Iqbal

Thao T. Lam

Ashley C. Meremikwu

Adrian Moga

Charles B. Neal

Swanand M. Rakhade

Sasha Raman

Kasra Sadeghi

Sachindra N. Sanam Venkata

Jason I. Thomas

Rohan S. Valleru

Brandon L. Wu

Asli Yilmaz

Gary Zhang


Eastwood Academy

Sana Shaikh


High School for the Performing & Visual Arts

David C. Alexander

Regina M. Cook

Kate A. Ham


Lamar High School

Philip Tan

John E. Vick


Lee High School

Oscar Wu