Eighteen Northeast Tennessee students are among about 16,000 semifinalists named on Wednesday in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

They include six from Dobyns-Bennett High School and four from Science Hill. In addition, two Southwest Virginia students, one each from Norton’s J.I. Burton High and Richlands High, were also named semifinalists.

"It is my pleasure to congratulate and celebrate our six National Merit Semifinalists on their designation," Dobyns-Bennett High School Principal Dr. Chris Hampton said. "They are all outstanding students in the classroom, leaders in our school, and in the Kingsport community. On behalf of our school, I wish them the best as they advance in the competition toward finalist status."

Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced the names of the academically talented seniors, who have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million that will be offered next spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level.

About 95% of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist status, and approximately half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship and the Merit Scholar title.

The NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

From approximately 16,000 students qualified as semifinalists, about 95 percent are expected to advance to the Finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2022 will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July.

LIST OF SEMIFINALISTS

• J.I. Burton: Ashar D. Khan

• Richlands: Adam M. Turjman

• Dobyns-Bennett: Mallika Digavalli, Christopher C. Hall, Anna B. Harris, Noah M. Lee, Alexandra C. Ponasik and Emily M. Shao

• Science Hill: Sophia C. Cross, Yeleeya Y. Li, Leon S. Sarkodie and Kyler D. Sood

• University School: Shazib A. Siddiqui

• Homeschoolers: Emma K. Fontenot of Jonesborough and Emma G. Zajonc of Johnson City

• Tennessee High: Amy Shi

• Happy Valley: Jackson B. Taylor

• Daniel Boone: Hannah J. Boyd

• Greeneville: Samuel N. Ashley

• Johnson County: Charles M. Barnhill

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