William Floyd High School senior Ian Hua has been selected as a semifinalist in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, a prestigious honor reserved for less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors. Students were selected as semifinalists due to their outstanding performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test taken during their junior year. Ian now has the opportunity to compete for a share of 7,500 National Merit Scholarships totaling nearly $30 million.
Ian, who attended William Floyd schools K-12 starting at William Floyd Elementary School, then William Floyd Middle School and now William Floyd High School, was excited to learn this news and said it was an honor for his school community to have representation among the list of semifinalists.
“This is a really cool opportunity and I’m very grateful to my family, friends, and school for supporting me along the way,” Ian said.
He is a high-academic performer and involved in many in-school extracurricular activities, including serving as the student government president and participating in athletics as a member of the varsity tennis team. He is also an accomplished pianist and flutist and member of both the William Floyd High School Jazz Band and the Wind Ensemble. Additionally, for his efforts he has been recognized as part of the NYSBDA (New York State Band Directors Association) All-State ensembles. Ian also had the opportunity this past summer to perform as a member of the pit orchestra for the Ocean Arts/William Floyd High School production of “Newsies.” Ian also serves as the co-president of the National Honor Society, is a member of the Science Honor Society, the Future Business Leaders of America and the Youth & Government program.
In addition to his myriad in-school activities, Ian is a Life Scout with Troop 138 in Mastic Beach. He is in the process of finishing up his Eagle Scout service project of building new planter boxes and resealing a portion of the blacktop for children to play at William Floyd Elementary School, his former stomping grounds. After the project wraps up, Ian will submit his paperwork and application to the Eagle Scout review board.
How does he do it? Ian humbly attributes his success to preparation and finding the right balance between his academics and extra-curricular activities.
“We are so proud of Ian and all of his accomplishments and contributions to William Floyd High School and the entire school community,” said Philip Scotto, principal, William Floyd High School. “He has the mind of a scholar, the character of a true leader and a passion for service.”
To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition for which approximately 15,000 finalists are selected. To advance, the semifinalist must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes academic achievements, school and community activities, leadership qualifications, employment history, and student honors/awards. 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 or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. Merit Scholars are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for a success in a rigorous college program. Finalists will be notified in or around February 2022.