YLHS’s 2019 National Merit Scholars



Congratulations to YLHS’s National Merit scholars of the Class of 2020!

Caitlyn Truong, Editor-in-Chief

Congratulations to YLHS Mustangs for being awarded National Merit Scholars!


The National Merit distinction is granted to students across the United States who demonstrate intellect through achieving high scores on the PSAT, which is administered during the fall of high school students’ junior years. The minimum PSAT score to qualify for the National Merit award varies by state; in California, the index for the Class of 2020 is 222. National Merit distinctions are ranked, from Commended Scholar to Semifinalist to Finalist, the latter of which requires an application process. There are also several ethnic recognition programs.


Students distinguished as National Merit scholars may be offered scholarship opportunities for their achievements, especially if they earn the Finalist ranking. Semifinalists may become Finalists through an extensive process, which includes writing a reflective essay for the National Merit Scholarship Application, maintaining high grades throughout high school, and being endorsed by a principal.


Of the nearly two million high school students in the United States, the top 50,000 are recognized as Commended Scholars. The top 16,000 are recognized as Semifinalists, and 15,000 go on to be Finalists.


National Merit Scholar Awards are granted by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which was established in 1955 in order to reward intellectual achievement during the scientific race of the Cold War, according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation website. The program has since recognized 228,000 students and awarded more than 34,000. 


Seventeen Yorba Linda High School students from the Class of 2020 were awarded this distinction; eleven received Commended Scholars, four received Semifinalists, and two received National Hispanic Recognition.


Congratulations to Roxane Fournier, Corinne Green, Chae Eun (Janet) Han, Ruichen Ma, Ahmed Suri, Caitlyn Truong, Isabella Wachter, Nathaniel Waugh, Rhys Weingarten, Kyle Wong, and Kayla Woodson for being distinguished as Commended Scholars. Congratulations to Zachary Hernandez and Emelia Ortiz for being distinguished through the National Hispanic Recognition Program.


Congratulations to Jenee Anekwe, Catherine Kang, Adrian Lindell, and Elina Savalia for being distinguished as Semifinalists.


Ahmed Suri (12), who was awarded a Commended Scholar, reflects, “Receiving this award has been an honor. The PSAT, and other college-admissions tests, was challenging and required many hours of studying. I am grateful for having been recognized, and I’m proud that YLHS has so many National Merit scholars. I wish our Semifinalists good luck as they continue their path to become Finalists.”


Congratulations on your academic achievement, Mustangs!