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Six Central New York students vie for National Achievement scholarships

Six Central New York students have been named semifinalists in the National Achievement Scholarship Program, which honors outstanding African-American students.

The area students are among 1,600 semifinalists nationwide who are competing for 800 college scholarships worth about $2.5 million.

The local semifinalists are Steven Ali, East Syracuse-Minoa High School; Cameron A. Buck, Jamesville-DeWitt High School; Adhana I. Asfaw, Manlius Pebble Hill School; and Petra McGinty, Nottingham High School.

In addition, two students at Ithaca High School were named: Oseoba B. Airewele and Ihotu Onah.

The semifinalists were chosen based on their scores on the PSAT exam. To become finalists, they and their high schools must submit a detailed application including their academic record, activities, leadership experience and employment record. They must also write an essay and score well on the SAT exam.

The program, conducted by the National Merit Scholarship Corp., is privately financed.
It began in 1964 to recognize academically promising black students.

The NMSC released results from its broader scholarship competition earlier this month. Thirteen local students and nearly 1,000 New York state students were named semifinalists in that competition, which was also based on PSAT scores. About 8,000 students nationwide will be named National Merit Scholarship winners.