Spotlight: Ilene Hong, one of the National Merit® Scholarship Semifinalists from PWCS
Posted on 09/18/2019
National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists Spotlight Ilene Hong pictured at right in round spotlight

Congratulations to Battlefield High School Senior Ilene Jang Hong for being named one of the PWCS semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit ® Scholarship Program!

The National Merit Scholarships Corporation (NMSC) announced approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 65th National Merit Scholarship Program during the second week of September. NMSC offers three types of National Merit Scholarships. Finalists will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit ® $2,500 Scholarships that are awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored scholarships awards will be provided by more than 200 corporations and business organizes for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, and another 4,100 college-sponsored scholarships will be provided by nearly 180 colleges and universities.

Ilene entered the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2018 SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) which serves as an initial screening. By being one of the highest-scoring entrants in the states, Ilene has been recognized as a semifinalist–semifinalists make up less than one percent of all U.S. high school seniors.

When asked about her academic success, Ilene recognized her high school teachers. She said, “My teachers throughout high school have always been willing to help and provide for an engaging classroom experience. They want to help me improve and expand my capabilities. My success as a student would not have been possible without the support of my teachers and the love for learning they fostered in me.”

She also gave credit to her parents, saying, “My parents have been with me every step of the way. They gave me endless motivation and pushed me to work hard both inside and outside of school.”

Ilene looks forward to attending a four-year university after graduation, where she plans to follow the pre-med track. In the meantime, Ilene will continue her senior year at Battlefield, where she is the co-president of the Science National Honor Society, and co-president of the Medical Club.

The staff and administration are #PWCSProud of Ilene and all of our PWCS semifinalists. Look for all of our National Merit® Scholarship Semifinalist features throughout the fall.