Two Antilles School seniors, Maggie Huang and Grace Randall, have been named finalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Nominated as semifinalists in September, the pair have been recognized among the approximately 15,000 academically talented students across the country that advanced to the next round of the National Merit competition, according to a news release from Antilles.
Merit Scholarship winners will be announced in mid-May. Selection is based on a variety of criteria, including academic accomplishments, leadership qualities and community activities.
“The numbers are in and there is no question that these two young women are smart – in fact, in the top one percent of all high school seniors,” Antilles Head of School Liz Morrison said. “Even more wonderful to see, however, is their joy of learning, their insatiable appetite for pondering ideas, and their intellectual generosity. Whatever their goal, these young women work hard to attain it, and we are proud to celebrate their accomplishments. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.”
The two are not just close in academic work. According to the school’s announcement, “the two have been inseparable since meeting in their sophomore year – and now share a home.” When Huang’s parents moved to the mainland for work, Randall’s family made room in their home when the Huang opted to stay on island to finish high school.
Randall hopes to attend Princeton or Duke, and Huang, whose passion is computer programming, has set her sights on Carnegie Mellon.
Both young women also have been recognized as Advanced Placement Scholars based on their performance last spring on four Advanced Placement exams.
Rounding off their accomplishments, both also have been nominated as U.S. Presidential Scholars – along with their Antilles classmate Sharan Chawla. Presidential scholar nominees represent less than three percent of all graduating 12th graders in the United States. Fewer than one percent are selected by the U.S. Presidential Scholar Committee as winners based on outstanding standardized test scores, overall academic performance, and a convincing essay.