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Four district students are National Merit semifinalists


Four students from the East Meadow School District are semifinalists in the 65th National Merit Scholarship Program and have the chance to progress in the competition and earn the title of Merit Scholar.

Alexa Wiencek, Viashnavi Adupa and Alyssa Fong, all juniors at East Meadow High School, and Emma Passariello, a junior at W.T. Clarke High School,

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation is a nonprofit that was established in 1955 and is comprised of roughly 400 business organizations and higher education institutions with a goal of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

More than 1.5 million students from roughly 21,000 highs chools entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking a qualifying test. Of this number, roughly 16,000 earned a top score and were named semifinalists.

Emma Passariello hopes to study engineering at Webb Institute in Glen Cove, where she has already begun the application process. She has been the secretary of the W.T. Clarke High School Key Club for two years and is a member of the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Center, through which she teaches fire and water safety to children and the dangers of distracted driving to adolescents. She also competes on her school’s robotics and quiz bowl teams.

Alexa Wiencek competes on East Meadow High School’s swim team and is a member of the marching band color guard, theatre guild and multiple national honor societies. Her dream school is the Massacusettes Institute of Technology and she seeks to major in engineering.

Viashnavi Adupa is a member of her school’s key club and cultural club and performs in its culture show. She hopes to pursue a craeer in medicine and is still deciding which college she plans to attend.

Alyssa Fong is president of the Math Honor Society and a member of the ethnic awareness and world hunger action clubs. She is also on the technology crew for the theatre productions. She plans to study molecular anthropology and is uncertain which college she will attend.

To progress in the competition and become a finalist, these students and an official from their high school will submit an application and include their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and any honors or awards they’ve received.