Yonas Soloman, a student at Independence High, was named a semifinalist for the National Achievement Scholarship Program. Soloman is one of 16 CMS students still in the running or the scholarship, which annually awards 800 scholarships worth $2.6 million to black high school seniors. The winners will be announced in April.

From CMS:

The National Achievement Scholarship program has named 16 CMS students as 2009 semifinalists. These students are among 1,600 black high school seniors across the country who will compete for Achievement Scholarship awards worth $2.6 million. The list of semifinalists and their high schools:

Cato Middle College: Jessica M. Jones; East Mecklenburg: Chanel A. Blanchett; Independence: Yonas Solomon; Ardrey Kell: Beimnet Baissa; Mallard Creek: Ayana N. Price and Paris C. Scott; Myers Park: Niccarra A. Brown, Hubert T. Humphrey, Amanda P. Johnson and Vera N. Nance; North Mecklenburg: Christopher A. Jackson and Brecia M. Young; Northwest School of the Arts: Adara N. Blake and Kellie A. Williams; Providence: Christopher E. Dennis, and West Charlotte: Olivia Scott.

To be considered an Achievement Scholar, semifinalists must advance to the finalist level of the competition by fulfilling several requirements. Students must have an outstanding academic record, be recommended by the school principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier qualifying test performance on the 2007 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) scores. The student must also submit an application that includes information about participation in school and community activities, and education goals.

Approximately 1,300 semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing in the program, and 800 will become Achievement Scholar recipients. The National Achievement Program, conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation, is privately financed without government assistance. It was initiated in 1964 to honor academically promising black students throughout the nation and to provide scholarships to a substantial number of the most outstanding participants.