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Senior Named a National Merit Semifinalist

Yinwei ‘Charlie’ Zhang among 16K competing for scholarships

Hicksville High School senior Yinwei (Charlie) Zhang has been named one of 16,000 Semifinalists in the 57th National Merit Scholarship Program and will compete next spring for one of the National Merit Scholarships, which altogether total $34 million.

The road to becoming a National Merit Semifinalist, and then Finalist, is highly competitive. More than 1.5 million high school juniors in approximately 22,000 high schools nationwide entered the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2010 Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist must maintain his or her academic record throughout the school year, receive a recommendation from the high school principal, and achieve SAT scores that are commensurate with his or her earlier PSAT performance. The Semifinalist must also submit an application and self-descriptive essay about his or her performance and leadership in school and community service activities.

Born in China, Charlie immigrated to the United States at the age of 5 and entered the Hicksville Public School District with limited English proficiency in third grade. His tenacity and academic talents, encouraged by a supportive staff, have driven him to become an outstanding student. In addition to his academic accomplishments, he is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society for piano. He also plays percussion in the high school’s wind ensemble band program. Charlie has an affinity for all major subjects and is a board member of the Science Olympiad program, as well as a member of the National Honor Society and Math, Science, and English Honor Societies. He has also found the time beyond his academic schedule to volunteer at Nassau University Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit, where he assists with office work and talks to patients.

“Charlie is very deserving of this honor, and the school community wishes him success in becoming a National Merit Finalist,” Hicksville High School Principal Brijinder Singh said.