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Semifinalists in 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program

EVANSTON, Ill. — Officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) on Sept. 13 announced the names of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarship worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2015 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.

California semifinalists include (alphabetically by city):

El Dorado Hills — Kyoko P. Chew, Oak Ridge High School

Irvine — Kenjiro Tsutsumi, University High School

Los Altos — Connor Akiyama, Los Altos High School

Los Angeles — Mason M. Sakamoto, Windward School

Millbrae — Seiji A. Sakiyama, Mills High School

Newbury Park — Justin B. Kawaguchi and Nicholas Nagamoto, Newbury Park High School

Oakland — Aiko D. Takata, Oakland Technical High School

Pasadena — Gwendolyn K. Hashimoto, Polytechnic High School

Redondo Beach — Alysa Kataoka, Redondo Union High School

Rolling Hills Estates — Davis S. Nagoshi and Kyle K. Watanabe, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School

Sacramento — Victoria S. Tateishi, Mira Loma High School

San Diego — Nainoa M. Nambu, University City High School

San Jose — Ken G. Tanaka, Leland High School; Olivia S. Higa, Notre Dame High School

Santa Monica — Kai A. Hakomori, Santa Monica High School

Saratoga — Matthew G. Miyada, Prospect High School

Torrance — Justin Yokota, Torrance High School

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