Ten Eastside Catholic students earn National Merit Scholarship commendation

The honored students share their aspirations and advice for younger students.

Ten seniors at Eastside Catholic High School have been named National Merit Scholarship Commended Students.

Here is the list of winners:

-Hyunwoo Chong

-Vincent Chung

-Henry Cobb

-Chase Hamdan

-Christopher Hamdan

-Grace Hopkins

-Ruoya Huang

-Arnav Rajashekara

-Ellie Sampson

-Christopher Tebben

These students were among approximately 34,000 high school students nationally who were recognized as National Merit Scholarship Commended Students, separate from the 16,000 who were recognized as National Merit Scholar Semifinalists according to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

High School Principal Ryan Aiello praised the students for their accomplishments, “I’m excited to announce and celebrate the accomplishments of these 10 incredible students. This illustrious group is as strong as any I’ve seen in my tenure at EC. Their commitment to academic excellence—in and out of the classroom—is both remarkable and admirable.”

A majority of the students who were honored provided their goals and aspirations for their future as well as some advice for younger students.

Vincent Chung would like to attend Carnegie Mellon University, study computer science and branch out to machine learning.

“Don’t ask permission to pursue something, do it now,” he implored.

Henry Cobb would like to study computer science.

“Take your schoolwork seriously and work hard,” he recommended.

Grace Hopkins would like to attend a college on the East coast and pursue political science. She said younger students should be themselves and enjoy high school.

Ruoya Huang would like to attend Rice University and study either public policy or political science. She recommended that younger students always plan ahead and start early on their academic agendas.

“It will make you more prepared under all circumstances,” she said.

​​Arnav Rajashekara would like to attend MIT, study computer science and eventually work in artificial intelligence.

“Enjoy high school while it lasts. Everybody always says that to younger kids and when you’re young, you don’t really think much of it, but it really does go by before you can blink. Enjoy all that time and live in the moment,” said Rajashekara.

Ellie Sampson would like to pursue a degree in either mechanical or industrial engineering, she recommended that younger students work hard to find a good balance between schoolwork, athletics, and relationships.

Christopher Tebben would like to study psychology in college.

“Find a way to incorporate your passions into your classes! It’ll make everything so much easier,” Tebben said.