Avondale High School Announces National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist

Avondale High School senior, Aparna Sumanth, joins an elite group of only 16,000 students in the country to be named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists competing for a share of $33 million in National Merit Scholarship awards that will be offered next spring. The semifinalists scored in the top 1% of the 1.6 million juniors who took the Preliminary SAT across the nation. Only 578 students from the state of Michigan made the cut. To achieve Finalist designation, students must, in addition to being academically talented, be involved in school and community activities, demonstrate leadership abilities, and have earned recognitions throughout their high school careers.

Avondale High School principal, Sharon Hyde, with National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist, Aparna Sumanth

Avondale High School principal, Sharon Hyde, with National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist, Aparna Sumanth

Aparna, who resides in Auburn Hills with her parents, Chitra and Gurumurthy Sumanth, is a member of National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and, in her fourth year on the Varsity girls swim and dive team, she is captain. In addition, she is an accomplished musician, playing for the Avondale Yellow Jackets Marching Band as well as the Avondale High School Symphonic Band. During the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association State Festival last year, she earned a Flute Soloist Division One Rating.

Active in the Bharatiya Temple community outreach that supports Gleaners Community Food Bank, Aparna is also heading up a fundraising swimming event for Avondale Blessings in a Backpack this winter. “I think that people should apply their skills to help others and make a difference in the world,” she said. ”It’s one of the reasons that I am interested in a biomedical field. It’s an opportunity for me to use my skills to help others.”

With aspirations of becoming a Biomedical Engineer, Aparna is interested in attending University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Harvard University or Johns Hopkins University. Her inspiration for setting her sights high is her father who, she explains, “grew up with fewer opportunities, came to the United Stated for educational opportunities and was determined and committed to succeed.”

Avondale High School principal, Sharon Hyde sees Aparna as determined and committed but also balanced. “She is committed to her studies but is also a well-rounded individual who has made time to grow socially and emotionally,” said Hyde. “That she achieves academically while managing commitments outside of the classroom is her strength. Aparna is a very capable person who will succeed at whatever she puts her mind to. I’m happy and proud that she has receive this recognition.”

About the National Merit Scholarship Program

The National Merit Scholarship Program is in its 62nd year and is conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). A not-for-profit organization, the group operates without government assistance providing scholarships through the generous donations of 420 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.

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