Six Worthington high school seniors have been named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

Six Worthington high school seniors have been named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.

Yuliya Klochan and Lily Fang of Worthington Kilbourne and Jingwen Zhang, Benjamin Nichols, Nicholas Meyer and Samuel Putka of Thomas Worthington were announced as semifinalists last week by the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

The 16,000 semifinalists nationwide will continue in the competition for 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth about $35 million.

About 1.5 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2014 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state.

Lily Fang, daughter of Henry and Sidney Fang, is student council secretary and a member of the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra and the school orchestra. She also is captain of the cross country team.

She won the Rotary Youth Leadership Award and the National Council of Teachers of English writing contest.

Fang plans to pursue a career in law and has applied for early acceptance to Princeton and Ohio State universities.

Yuliya Klochan, daughter of Oksana and Vlad Klochan, attends the Linworth Alternative Program, where she has taught semester-long courses called "The Joy of Mathematics" and "Russia, Ukraine and the Slavs." She immigrated from Ukraine three years ago.

Her many volunteer activities earned her the president's volunteer service award. She volunteers at the Northwest Library, where she proposed and designed a multicultural program. She also tutors at the homework help center.

She plans to attend Harvard University to major in math and environmental studies.

Nicholas Meyer, son of Joseph and Nicolette Meyer, is on the tennis team at Thomas Worthington.

His favorite subject, he said, is calculus, and he plans to study computer science in college.

Benjamin Nichols, son of Robert and Dana Nichols, is on the tennis and the In The Know teams at Thomas Worthington.

His favorite subject is Latin, he said. Nichols said he plans to study math and computer science at Harvey Mudd College.

Samuel Putka, son of Steve and Wendy Putka, is a member of the Spanish National Honor Society and is an officer of the youth group at Amlin United Methodist Church.

His favorite subjects are science and math, he said, and he plans to study engineering at Ohio State University.

Jingwen Zhang, daughter of Kai Zhang and Jian Zhao, is a co-founder and captain of Science Olympiad and a journalism editor in chief and is on the In The Know team. She participates in Cards for Kids and plays varsity tennis.

She was a finalist in the International Science Engineering Fair.

She is a hospital volunteer.

Zhang's favorite subjects are English and science, she said, and she plans to go to college to major in cellular molecular biology.