Two Walsh Jesuit seniors – Leah Smith and George Zogrofakis have advanced to Semifinalist status in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship competition. Officials of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) recently announced the names of approximately 16,000 Semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
Leah and George have an opportunity to continue to compete for some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth over $31 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. Over 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to earn Finalist status in February, with National Merit finalists being announced in the Spring. Of that 90 percent, about half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title.
National Merit Semifinalists
Leah V. Smith is a member of the National Honor Society and also serves in a leadership role, is the Executive Treasurer of Student Government, has served as a Walsh Jesuit student ambassador, is a Kairos leader, serves in an executive role of the Math Club, runs track and field in the spring and plays soccer on the women's varsity soccer team in the fall. Leah lives in Parma Heights and attended Incarnate Word Academy prior to coming to Walsh Jesuit. Leah is a classical pianist, boasts a GPA of 4.47 and has been honored with several awards: Harvard Book Prize Award, George Eastman Young Leaders Award, AP Scholar Award, St. Edmund Campion Society and Scholar Athlete Award. Leah intends to study biomedical engineering and pre-medicine next year.
George Zografakis has been a member of the tech crew for the Warrior Corps and is the assistant production manager of Walsh Jesuit’s Centerstage Theatre. In his free time, George enjoys volunteering at Rocky Knoll Nursing Home. George hopes to attend the University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton or the University of Pittsburgh next year where he intends to study Environmental Engineering. George resides in Akron and attended St. Sebastian prior to coming to Walsh Jesuit and currently holds a 3.5 GPA.