Congratulations to Harborfields High School seniors Maya Bielawski, Ty Ellenbogen and Jacky Xie for being selected as semifinalists and Evan Ackerman, Mia Kushner, Gavin Storch, Dylan Topolovec and Kaitlyn Waring as commended students in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.
As semifinalists, Maya, Ty and Jacky will continue in the competition for chances to win some 7,600 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $30 million next spring. The district’s commended students were selected for earning top scores on a Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test last year. Approximately 1.5 million students take the test each year.
Looking back at her high school career, Maya has a lot to be proud of as a member of both the National Honor Society and district’s honor roll. But her passions expand even beyond the high school campus.
Last year, Maya worked in collaboration with a Williams College professor as part of a Pioneer Academics online, college-level research program. As a Junior, she also accepted an internship to work with New York State Senator James Gaughran. Additionally, since freshmen year, Maya has also served as an ambassador for the Huntington Youth Bureau.
After graduation, Maya is considering studying biochemistry, cellular biology or biophysics at her top choice, UC Berkeley in California.
Throughout high school, aside from his academics, Ty has demonstrated a passion for music. As a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, drummer and saxophonist, Ty plans to pursue a degree in music business at his top choice, Belmont University in Nashville, TN.
Ty is also a member the National and Tri-M Music Honor Societies and has participated in All-County Band annually since 2015.
Additionally, as part of his Eagle Scouts project, Ty worked with the Harry Chapin Foundation and American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, or ASCAP, to donate guitars and create a benefit concert to serve underprivileged children.
As a commended student, Evan Ackerman has also been an active member of the school community. Since freshmen year, he has played on the school’s baseball team and is also a member of the Tornado News team. Expanding his interests as a sophomore, Evan joined math club and, as a junior, was inducted into National Honor Society.
After graduation, Evan is considering majoring in engineering though he has not yet decided on an institution.
Mia, also a member of the National Honor Society, recalled fond memories of her time at Harborfields High School. She is a member of several clubs, including math, robotics and French club, where she currently serves as president. As a junior, Mia joined Natural Helpers and has also expanded her interests as a study buddy at Harborfields Public Library in Greenlawn.
Mia is interested pursuing a degree in medicine or biomedical science at her top choice, Rochester Institute of Technology.
Gavin has certainly left his mark on Harborfields High School as an active member of the school’s Stand Up to Cancer club and Relay for Life team. Together with his peers, he worked to initiate last year’s Relay for Life event, and though it was ultimately canceled, the team still raised funds and awareness to support cancer research.
Additionally, since freshmen year, he has been a member of the school’s cross-country, winter and spring track teams. Gavin also plays trumpet in marching band, where he currently serves as section leader.
Gavin plans to pursue a college degree after graduation; however, he has not yet decided on a major or institution.
Dylan has also explored many interests throughout his years at Harborfields High School. He is a member of the National and Tri-M Music Honor Societies, and since freshmen year, has also been an active member of the school’s robotics team.
In addition to his extracurricular activities within school, he is a member of Boy Scout Troup 113, where he is currently an Eagle Scout candidate.
While he is currently undecided on where he would like to study after graduation, Dylan plans to pursue a major in computer science.
Kaitlyn, also a member of the school’s winter and spring tack teams, is also an avid soccer player. In addition to her interests in sports, she has also explored a passion for mathematics as a member of math club. As a junior, was inducted into the National Honor Society.
Outside of school, she is a member of the Centerport Fire Department’s cadet program and is a tutor at Harborfields Public Library.
Kaitlyn has also not yet narrowed down what or where she plans to study after graduation.
Additional information on Jacky Xie was not immediately available and will be included in a separate story.
Congratulations to all of Harborfields High School’s National Merit semifinalists and commended students!