Bretches Li Kesten
Guy Bretches, Jonathan Li, Jacob Kesten


Students at several local high schools have made the list of semifinalists in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program.

According to a news release from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, three types of scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2016. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 scholarships of $2,500 each that will be awarded on a state-representational basis.

About 1,000 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by about 250 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor's employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located.

In addition, about 190 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 3,900 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

The 2016 winners will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and ending in July. They'll join more than 315,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

In Bossier City, Guy Bretches at Airline has been named a semifinalist. Shreveport had quite a list: Sarah Livingston at C.E. Byrd; Michael Jung, Amir Kaskas, Meghana Rao, Daniel Speakes and Cameron Wallace at Caddo Magnet; Jacob Kesten and Jonathan Li at Loyola College Prep; and Samantha Hilburn at Captain Shreve.

Our local students are among 16,000 semifinalists from across the country, and about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level. If they're chosen, they'll be notified in February. Merit Scholar designees are selected in these categories: skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin or religious preference.