National Merit Finalist: Jackson's Allan Cao

Patricia Faulhaber
Suburbanite correspondent
Allan Cao

Editor's Note:Jackson High School has what is believed to be a school – and Stark County record – eight finalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program. For the next several weeks, the Suburbanite will profile each finalist

All winners of Merit Scholarship awards are chosen from the Finalist group based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments – without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. A variety of information is available for NMSC to evaluate: The Finalist's academic record, information about the school's curriculum and grading system, PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index score, the high school official's written recommendation, information about the student's activities and leadership, and the Finalist's own essay.

Allan Cao is one of the eight National Merit Scholarship finalists from Jackson High School. Below are his responses to being selected.

Do you know when you find out if you have been selected to receive one of the awards

From my understanding, scholarships are awarded mid-March to late April. Honestly, I have no idea if I’ve been offered any, but the likelihood of me attending a public school (for which most scholarships are awarded) is low.

Would you detail or list the academics you participated in grades 9-12?

I didn’t participate in a specific educational program at JHS, but I took extensive amounts of APs and CCPs in a wide variety of subjects ranging from STEM to liberal arts, but I’m strongest in math. I took 13 AP Classes and 9 CCP courses. My most advanced math course is Ordinary Differential Equations.

Wold you share your PSAT or SAT scores?

I got a 35 on the ACT.

List your extra-curricular you’ve participated in grades 9-12.

Cross country, robotics club, speech and debate, Science National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Math Honor Society, and National Honor Society.

What were some of the leadership roles you’ve held?

Spanish Honor Society Public Relations Officer, Science National Honor Society Treasurer, Robotics Club co-founder/vice president, cross country unit leader, debate captain.

What was your essay titled and what was it about?

My essay didn’t have a title, but it was about my best friend, Miro, and how we’ve influenced each other throughout high school.

Why did you select this topic for your essay?

I wanted to write about this because I think that your friends are a huge part of high school and can change your experience. I think that this topic provided a unique insight on my own character as well. I think it humanizes and reveals a lot about my personality and how I liked to spend my time.

What would you do with the scholarship award if you receive it?

Spend it on college tuition. It’s a scholarship for college.

Have you selected a college or been accepted in a college and if so, what is it?

I've recently been honored with admission to the prestigious Ohio State University, as well as the University of Washington.

Have you selected a major and what is it?

I am most likely going to major in Computer Science and Philosophy.

Career plans?

Work in the field for a number of years, then attempt to create a startup if possible.

Any people you would like to thank?

I want to thank my family for enabling me to succeed. I also want to thank my teachers, advisors, coaches, and counselors for helping me grow and facilitating my own thoughts and progression. Lastly, I’ll thank Miro for letting me write about him, and for being a great friend.