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Four Central New York students semifinalists for national scholarship

Four Onondaga County high school seniors have been named semifinalists in the 2011 National Achievement Scholarship Program, which is part of the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

The four students are among 1,600 black high school seniors chosen across the country who will now continue in the competition for 800 Achievement Scholarship awards, each worth $2,500.

The four students are:

• Adriana M. Lee, of Camillus, West Genesee High School

• Alexander R. Beach, of Manlius, Fayetteville-Manlius High School

• Devra M. Gatling, of Syracuse, of Manlius Pebble Hill School

• Nosipho D. McGinty, of Syracuse, of Manlius Pebble Hill School

The National Achievement Scholarship program, which started in 1964, is designed to recognize academically promising black students across the nation and to provide scholarships to many of them. The semifinalists were chosen from more than 160,000 students nationwide requested who were considered after taking the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying examination.

To become a finalist, semifinalists must submit recommendations from their schools and a record of high academic performance throughout high school. They also must write an essay, complete an application that shows participation in school and community activities. Their SAT scores also play a part.

The finalists will be named in the spring.