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Cibola senior named semifinalist in 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program

Cibola High School senior Yazan Abdella was named a semifinalist in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Corporation competition. He is one of more than 16,000 semifinalists in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

“Originally, I was pretty surprised when I found out I made the cut-off,” Abdella said. “The realization that I qualified made me really happy. I didn't really think I had done well enough on the test to make it to the next stage, which turned the good news into great news. I'm humbled to be considered a semifinalist and am excited to be able to represent my school in this national program.”

Last spring, Yazan’s brother, Mohamed, was named a National Merit finalist while attending Cibola.

According to the website, these academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $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 attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 410 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

Yazan Abdella

Kevin Swearingin