“Geoffrey Zheng, a senior at Lincoln Park Academy (LPA) in Fort Pierce has been named as one of the semifinalists for the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program,” announced Superintendent E. Wayne Gent. “This is a prestigious honor, and I am very proud of Geoffrey’s achievement and the instructional support he has received. He is a fine representative of students in our schools.”

LPA Principal Henry Sanabria had the pleasure of sharing the news with Zeng who said, “I am honored to have been selected as a semi-finalist.  I realize that all of my hard work throughout high school has paid off, and I hope to continue working hard and pursuing excellence.”

The Superintendent’s sentiments were echoed by Education Commissioner Pam Stewart. When the news of semifinalists was announced, she said, “I am very proud of our students for being nominated as National Merit semifinalists. This is a testament to the hard work of our state’s educators who help unlock the potential that lies within our students. As schools around the state are settling in to a new school year, I hope the success of these students will help motivate all of our students to do their very best.”

National Merit Scholarship Corporation officials recognized high school seniors with the highest scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test who met program requirements. Semifinalists are now eligible to compete for one of 7,400 National Merit Scholarships totaling more than $32 million.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship Award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to become a finalist. The semifinalist and his or her school must submit a detailed scholarship application that includes the student’s academic record throughout high school, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, and honors and awards received. The student must also be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn an SAT score that confirms the earlier performance on the qualifying test. Finalists are selected based on exceptional skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.