Four Titan National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Alexander Schlegel, Ava Benbow, Ana Humphrey, and Mark Bailey are among less than 1.1 percent of U.S. high school seniors that are National Merit semifinalists. Photo courtesy of ACPS.

Four T.C. Williams High School seniors have been named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. They are among the 16,000 semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program and will have the opportunity to compete for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring.

In Their Own Words:

Mark Bailey

“I may be in interested in studying medicine or health related topics in college. I’m also really interested in languages. I’ve taken Chinese for seven years. I picked it in sixth grade — it seemed like a language that has become more and more important. I find it really interesting to learn about how people communicate with each other.”

Ava Benbow

“My two favorite subjects are science and art. At T.C. there are really great science classes. Every time I try a science, it’s my new favorite, but right now biology is what I’m thinking about. I’m also really interested in genetics and that’s something that I’d be really interested in studying in college.”

Ana Humphrey

“I’ve had this incredible fascination with exoplanets and space and astrophysics in general. I would love to pursue research in that area, potentially even becoming a professor — a research professor so that I can mentor other students and help them discover their own passions for research and science. I also really care about the environment and environmental issues. I’d like to continue to mentor students, help them learn about the world around them and how to make it a better place.”

Alexander Schlegel

“Music and physics are my two main things. I was always good at math and enjoy doing it. When I was introduced to physics, the problem-solving aspect really attracted me. I’m totally passionate about it. It’s really what I enjoy doing. On the artsy side, I’m a musician. I play clarinet and piano. I really enjoy both of those things and hope to continue playing them in college.”

To become a semifinalist is no easy feat. A student 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. Mark, Ava, Ana and Alexander, along with students to be named who will have received letters of commendation for being among the top five percent, will be honored at a special breakfast with their families in early October. The 2019 National Merit Scholarship winners will be announced beginning in April and concluding in July 2019.