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Meet the RHS Class of 2021 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

September 21, 2020

Meet the Radnor High School Class of 2021 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

 

Radnor High School seniors Maya Casillas, Colin Cheshire, Jesse Conen, Shanti Hug, Brendan Hung, Richa Kuklani, Soo Min Lee, Dingmohen Li, Jane O'Grady, and Joshua Yoo were recently named 2021 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The students are among 16,000 high school seniors from across the United States and are eligible for some 7,600 scholarships worth more than $30 million.

About 1.5 million juniors in more than 21,000 high schools entered the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2019 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. 
 
To become a finalist, the semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.
 
From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level. They will be notified of this designation in February 2021. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

The entire Radnor Township School District community congratulates these seniors on their tremendous accomplishment and wishes them the best of luck moving forward! Learn more about this year's semifinalists from RHS below:

 
Maya

Maya Casillas


Maya Casillas is a member of National Honor Society, serves as the vice president of Model United Nations (UN), and is president of the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO) Club. She plays oboe in concert band and alto saxophone in marching band. Maya also volunteers as an assistant teacher for an English as a Second Language program, serving international students and adults in the Main Line.

Colin Cheshire

Colin Cheshire


After years of volunteering for The Children’s Heart Foundation, Colin Cheshire started the Children’s Heart Club at Radnor High School. He is also a member of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), the Homeless Youth Project and Model Congress. He plays on the RHS boys soccer team, is a sprinter on the RHS track and field team and ski races in the winter.

 

Jesse Conen

Jesse Conen


Jesse Conen is Vice President of Model United Nations (UN), sports editor for the Radnorite, and competes with the RHS Hi-Q academic quiz team. Jesse also plays for the RHS boys soccer team and is a member of the track and field team. He previously served on three Township committees, including the Radnor Township School District School Board Curriculum Committee.

Shanti Hug

Shanti Hug


Shanti Hug is a member of the RHS girls soccer team, and is actively involved in the Annenberg Science Symposium and Chemistry Club. She’s also a member of the RHS SeaPerch club. Over the summer, Shanti does research in an HIV lab at the University of Pennsylvania and plans to pursue a degree in biology.

Brendan Hung

Brendan Hung


Brendan Hung is senior class president and Region 19 president of Pennsylvania Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). As the founder of the Homeless Youth Project, he was recognized as a Prudential Spirit of Community Awards State Honoree and a recipient of the President's Volunteer Service Award and U.S. Congressional Award gold medals. In school, Brendan is a member of Model United Nations (UN), Honor Council, National Honor Society, and the Peer Mentor Program. He also serves on Congresswoman Scanlon’s Congressional Youth Cabinet, the RTSD Homework Committee, and the Reopening Radnor Task Force. He is an avid artist and looks forward to testing for his third-degree black belt this fall.

Richa Kuklani

Richa Kuklani


Richa Kuklani is a member of the RHS swim team, USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) Club, Annenberg Science Symposium, Amnesty International Club, Model Congress, Freshman Peer Mentoring Group and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Outside of school, she swims for Radnor Aquatic Club, tutors children with the non-profit Learn in Shelter, is part of a social justice non-profit called Empowering Youth Exploring Justice, writes articles relating to STEM and women in STEM for Project STEMinist, and develops and handles international chapters for the non-profit iCure Health.

Soo Min Li

Soo Min Lee


Soo Min Lee is a member of the Radnor Girls Ultimate Frisbee team, Model Congress and National Honor Society. She is co-founder of the Radnor Thirst Project, a non-profit organization whose aim is to bring safe drinking water to communities around the world. She also regularly volunteers at her church through service trips and youth group.

MohenLi

Mohen Li


Mohen Li is president of the Radnor Peer Tutoring club, participates in Radnor Model United Nations (UN), plays cello in the RHS Orchestra, and is a member of the RHS boys soccer team. He also writes for The Radish, the satirical section of the RHS student news site The Radnorite.

Jane O'Grady

Jane O'Grady


Jane O’Grady is a distinguished honor roll student, president of the Radnor Chapter of the National Honor Society, and a Student Representative to the Radnor Educational Foundation Board of Trustees. She plays varsity tennis for RHS, has previously played both varsity and junior varsity field hockey. Outside of school, she tutors middle school students in math and babysits families in the area.

Joshua Yoo

Joshua Yoo


Joshua Yoo is president of the RHS Math Club and RHS Physics Club. He is also a member of the Radnor Hi-Q team. Outside of school, he enjoys competing in math and science competitions as a member of the Lehigh Valley Math Team. He is a four-time American Invitational Mathematics Exam (AIME) qualifier, two-time USA Junior Mathematical Olympiad (USAJMO) qualifier, and a USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) semifinalist. Joshua also loves to play classical symphonic and chamber music and is a violinist in the RHS, Delaware County, and Philadelphia Youth orchestras.