Eunji Lee of Trumbull, a senior at Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden, has been named a semifinalist in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. The program honors students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
Approximately 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 PSAT, which served as an initial screening of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists represents less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. These academically talented seniors now have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million.
Since her freshman year, Lee has continually explored her academic interests and contributed to the community. She is president of the national math honor society, Mu Alpha Theta; treasurer of the National Honor Society and captain of the Mood Mega Math Challenge teams and Math League. She also belongs to the mock trial group, science and French national honor societies, Key Club and Art Club. She has been the academy's orchestra concert mistress since her freshman year and has represented the school at both the Southern Regional and All State music festivals.
An independent science research participant, Lee has won the third-place team award at the 2016 Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair for her project on designing and testing 3D printing prosthetic coverings. As a rising junior, she was an intern at the University of Bridgeport, helping to write a program to detect spam accounts on Twitter, which won first place at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Connecticut Conference poster competition. She won the second-place individual physical sciences award at the 2017 Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair, and was a finalist in the Robotics and Machine Learning category at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May, for a project using neural networks to detect bleeding in endoscopy images. Last summer, she worked in the clinical chemistry department at Yale-New Haven Hospital, designing and conducting a stability and validation study on a newly released blood collection device.
Lee has received the Yale University Book Award and the University of Rochester Xerox Award for Innovation and Information Technology. She also was given the National Center for Women in Informational Technology Aspirations in Computing Award, and her team placed in the top 150 in the nation in the 2017 Moody Mega Math Challenge. She has won silver and bronze medals on the National French Exam and she received the Sr. Antonine Memorial Scholarship before entering Sacred Heart Academy. She was recently named an AP Scholar with Distinction.
Outside of school, she enjoys volunteering for Music Haven and the Bridgeport Kids Empowered by Your Support music programs. She teaches violin to elementary and middle school students, in addition to helping out with organizational and planning duties and has also performed alongside students at concerts and various events. Since fourth grade, she has been a member of the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestra’s principal group.
She plans to explore her interests in research, science and technology in college, where she would also like to continue to share her music.