The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has chosen Dunham School senior Ciara Venable as a semifinalist in the National Merit scholarship competition. In addition, senior Tre Landaiche has been recognized as a National Merit Commended Student.

Ciara, the daughter of Karen and the late Joseph E. Venable Jr., has been a Dunham student since kindergarten. With her eyes set on an undergraduate degree in finance followed by law school, Ciara’s top college choices include Vanderbilt University, LSU Honors College and University of Louisiana Lafayette Honors College.

As one of approximately 16,000 semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit scholarship program, Venable now has an opportunity to continue in the competition for 7,600 National Merit scholarships, worth more than $31 million, that will be offered in spring 2020.

High school students enter the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the Preliminary SAT/ National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT-NMSQT) in the fall of their junior year. Of the 1.5 million high school students who took the PSAT in October 2018, approximately 50,000 (approximately 3.3 percent) qualify as National Merit commended students or semifinalists.