Forty Acres Scholars Program Class of 2024 Finalists

Posted February 18, 2020


The Forty Acres Scholars Program announced 53 finalists for the Class of 2024. Finalists were selected from over 3,800 applicants. Out of those, 193 semifinalists were chosen to advance to a phone interview.  

This year’s finalists come from seven U.S. states and have been admitted to eight different schools across the university. Many of them participate in nationally recognized organizations and competitions such as Model UN, DECA, and UIL. Many are also athletes and team captains. Some are NASA interns, founders of nonprofits and online platforms, business owners, researchers, coders, speakers at local and national conventions, musicians, dancers, published storytellers, and student pilots. Their time has been spent participating in countless hours of community service, leading clubs and organizations in their schools, and interning across the nation.  

From March 4–7, these exceptional high school students will visit campus to participate in Finalist Weekend. Activities include a visit to their admitted college, class visits, panels with current Forty Acres Scholars, dinner with alumni, and an individual interview.  

The Forty Acres Scholars Program inspires and nurtures visionary leaders and helps them use their talents to benefit society. Our scholars demonstrate intellectual curiosity and a track record of outstanding academic success. Most importantly, they have passion and a desire to live out the core values of The University of Texas at Austin. The three tenets of the program are community, connection, and discovery. It is a transformational adventure that helps individuals reach their full potential, and, alongside academic achievement, focuses on personal development, relationship building, and gaining perspective. As the only program of its kind administered by an alumni association, Forty Acres Scholars develop a unique relationship with their alma mater and graduate with an extraordinary network of Longhorns standing behind them. 

Scholarship funding provides for tuition, a living stipend, a book stipend, an enrichment stipend, and program activities. 

Meet the finalists:

Vaishnavi Addala 

Westlake High School
Austin, TX


Avery Ambrose 

Westlake High School
Austin, TX



Reese Arterberry 

Ponder High School
Ponder, TX


Yunbeen Bae 

Rick Reedy High School
Frisco, TX


Jackson Bellard 

Galena High School
Reno, NV


Emine Ciftci 

Lawrence E. Elkins High School
Missouri City, TX


Jannah Collins 

Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
Houston, TX


Sydney Collins 

Vandegrift High School
Austin, TX


Ethan Davila 

Nikki Rowe High School
McAllen, TX


Kien Deshpande 

Mirabeau B. Lamar High School
Houston, TX


Daija Esparza 

PSJA North Early College High School
Pharr, TX


Katrina Fierro 

McNeil High School
Austin, TX


Will Florer 

Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas
Dallas, TX


Thomas Grannen 

St. John's School
Houston, TX


Nikhil Guddati 

Flower Mound High School
Flower Mound, TX


Jorge Guerra 

Sharyland High School
Mission, TX


Anushka Gupta 

Centennial High School
Frisco, TX


Kyla Guru 

Deerfield High School
Deerfield, IL


Connor Hrachovy 

St. John's School
Houston, TX


Shevali Kadakia 

Archbishop Mitty High School
San Jose, CA


Addison Kahle 

Birdville High School
North Richland Hills, TX


Nikita Kakkad 

Westlake High School
Austin, TX

Helen Kalleb 

Bishop Lynch High School
Dallas, TX 


Spandana Kamepalli 

Vandegrift High School
Austin, TX


Melissa Khasbagan 

Westlake High School
Austin, TX


Pranitha Kona 

Coppell High School
Coppell, TX


Sara Kothia 

Imagine International Academy of North Texas
McKinney, TX


Sophia Li 

Plano East Senior High School
Plano, TX


Amanda Mackenzie 

Trinity Valley School
Fort Worth, TX


Lana Mohamed 

Claudia Taylor Johnson High School
San Antonio, TX


Aria Morgan 

Garland High School
Garland, TX


Morgan Myhill 

Kent Denver School
Englewood, CO


Reese Neal 

Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science
Denton, TX


Alice Nguyen 

Friendswood High School
Friendswood, TX


Amelia Nickerson 

Vandegrift High School
Austin, TX

Ritika Palacharla 

Carnegie Vanguard High School
Houston, TX


Aleah Parafinczuk 

Loyola Academy
Wilmette, IL


Devan Patel 

St. Mark's School of Texas
Dallas, TX 


Olivia Pierce 

Oliver Ames High School
Easton, MA

Oliver Ames High School 

Easton, MA 


Anoushka Ramesh 

Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science
Denton, TX


Jack Roehr 

Sphairo Academy
Houston, TX


Elle Smith 

Cedar Ridge High School
Round Rock, TX 


Kylie Sommer-Kohrt 

Grafton High School
Yorktown, VA 


Walter Stark 

Plano Senior High School
Plano, TX


Charles Stock 

Bishop Lynch High School
Dallas, TX 


Rayan Tejani 

Allen Academy
Bryan, TX 


Roman Ugarte 

Liberal Arts and Science Academy
Austin, TX


Kaya Unalmis 

Kingwood High School
Kingwood, TX


Stacy Wang 

Highland Park High School
Dallas, TX


Blaire Wartell 

Parish Episcopal School
Dallas, TX


Elizabeth Whiteside 

Woodrow Wilson High School
Dallas, TX


Ashley Xie 

Highland Park High School
Dallas, TX


Matthew Yekell 

St. John's School
Houston, TX