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Leader's Priya Persaud Named National Merit Finalist


By Chris O'Neill

The Leader’s own star reporter Priya Persaud, a senior at New Hyde Park High School, has been named a National Merit Scholarship Finalist.

The National Merit Scholarship program, founded in 1955, is one of the country’s most prestigious competitions meant on identifying and awarding outstanding high school seniors.

The competition is based first on junior year PSAT/NMSQT scores and then on other skills and accomplishments as the competition narrows down.

Of the top 50,000 scorers, (from a pool of about 1.5 million students from 22,000 high schools) about 34,000 receive Letters of Commendation and 16,000 become Semi-Finalists. Of these Semi-Finalists, about 15,000 advance to Finalist Status. From this final group, about 8,000 Merit Scholars are chosen who have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in college.

Each scholar receives a $2,500 Scholarship and, together with the Finalists, are also eligible for corporate and college awards.

Beside Priya, New Hyde Park High School boasts Izhaan Ahmed and Paul Wang as Finalists. Cecilia Kye, a senior at Huntington High School, was also a finalist.

In addition to her insightful writing at the Leader (including articles on politics, crime and cultural events), Priya is captain of the varsity tennis team; president of the Book Club; president of the Science National Honor Society; secretary of Science Olympiads; treasurer of her Class of 2023, member of the Student Board, and treasurer of the Spanish Club. She has also been named Valedictorian of New Hyde Park High School, class of 2023.

In her own words: "I am so grateful to be selected as a Finalist for the National Merit Scholarship competition! I am thankful to my parents, family, and friends for all their support throughout my academic journey. I can't wait to see what the future holds!"

Priya is considering medical research as her future career and already has done research work at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.


Congratulations Priya !

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