Shan is National Merit Finalist
By ELISA SAND, Staff Reporter
Amy Shan of Madison High School will graduate this spring with a number of honors. She is a National Merit Finalist, Horatio Alger scholarship recipient, candidate for the U.S. Presidential Scholars program and semifinalist in the Coca-Cola Scholars Program.|
Shan is one of 15,000 students who will be recognized as National Merit Finalists, representing less than 1 percent of graduating seniors. To be considered for a National Merit Scholarship, students must take the PSAT and earn a qualifying score. Once selected as semifinalists, students are encouraged to take the SAT to confirm their PSAT score. Scholarship awards are announced in late March. Of the finalists selected, 8,300 recipients are named for $2,500 scholarships.
Shan earned a 215 (out of 240) on her PSAT and a 2,190 (out of 2,400) on the SAT. As a sophomore, she scored a 34 on her ACT.
The Horatio Alger scholarship is a $5,000 award issued over a four-year period -- $1,000 each year for the first three years and $2,000 in the fourth year. Shan is one of two MHS seniors to receive the scholarship, which is based on adversity and how the student works through challenges. Twenty-five recipients are chosen.
"I was happily surprised and grateful for the members of the Horatio Alger organization," Shan said.
Shan was also named an Argus Leader Academic All-Star. She was one of 12 selected out of 72 nominees. She was also one of 3,000 selected as a candidate in the U.S. Presidential Scholarship Program and one of 2,000 semifinalists chosen for the Coca-Cola Scholarship program out of 111,000 applicants.
She is a finalist for the AXA Achievement Community Scholarship and semifinalist in the 2013 GE-Regan Foundation Scholarship program.
Shan plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania this fall and enroll in the Wharton School of Business.
"When I got into the University of Pennsylvania, I was ecstatic," she said. "I knew Wharton would provide good opportunities for me."
Shan was an early admission candidate chosen by the University of Pennsylvania. About half the students admitted are through early admission. About 12-13 percent of all applicants are admitted.
Shan is active in Jazz Band, Show Choir, debate and Student Congress. She plays the piano and works part-time at Dairy Queen.
Looking back, Shan said, she was extremely shy, but after being involved in People to People and starting a local recycling program at the school, she said she's slowly gained more confidence.
She has been involved in the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership organization, set up and organized five lemonade stands and volunteered as a HOBY junior staff member.
"HOBY motivated me and gave me the skills," she said. "I wanted to pass on the skills to other ambassadors."
Shan is the daughter of Gewei Cheng and Ronghua Shan of Madison.