Three LCF Residents Earn National Merit Awards

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A trio of promising young scholars from La Cañada Flintridge recently received National Merit Scholarship awards worth $2,500 each.
The local recipients are Kamala A. Durairaj, a senior at Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City; Ankur Jain, a senior at Flintridge Prep; and William McConnell, a senior at Pasadena Poly.
Durairaj lists her probable career field as law. Jain is interested in computer engineering and McConnell identifies quantitative analysis as a potential field of study.
These scholarships are among the 2,500 that are supported directly by funds from the National Merit Scholarship Corp. Last month, more than 1,000 students received corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards and, in June and July, 4,000 students will receive college-sponsored Merit Scholarships.
La Cañada High School’s Jennifer Yoon — who identified medicine as her probable career field — was among the winners of the corporate-sponsored award. Hers was sponsored by the National Distillers Distributors Foundation.
The current National Merit Scholarship program began in October 2015 when more than 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Last fall, the highest-scoring participants in each state, representing less than 1% of the nation’s high school seniors, were named semifinalists on a state-representational basis.
Only these 16,000 semifinalists had an opportunity to continue in the competition, at the conclusion of which about 7,500 students will have won National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million.

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