Forty Acres Scholars Program Class of 2025 Finalists

Posted February 22, 2021


The Forty Acres Scholars Program is proud to announce the 65 finalists for the Class of 2025. Finalists were selected from over 4,700 applicants. Out of those, 173 semifinalists were chosen to advance to a video interview.   

This year’s finalists come from six U.S. states and have been admitted to 12 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, team captains, musicians, and student body presidents. Some are published authors, founders of nonprofits, school organizations and online platforms, business owners, researchers, and coders. 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 4–6, these exceptional high school students will join us online to participate in our first-ever virtual Finalist Weekend. Activities will include visits with their admitted colleges, a mock class with a UT professor, a virtual campus tour, panels with current Forty Acres Scholars, optional daily activities, 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. The program 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:

Brydn Abraham 

Centennial High School
Frisco, TX



Stephanie Aguilera 

North Mesquite High School
Mesquite, TX



Angeline Ajit 

Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science 
Denton, TX



Olutoni Akintoye 

KIPP Houston High School 
Houston, TX



Sameer Balhara 

Denmark High School 
Alpharetta, GA



Kuba Bard 

Cedar Park High School 
Cedar Park, TX



Kinza Barrister 

Great Hearts Irving 
Irving, TX



Vivek Beeram 

Saint Mary's Hall High School 
San Antonio, TX



Stephano Boyer-Paulet 

South Texas ISD Science Academy 
Mercedes, TX



Avery Brooks 

Georgetown High School 
Georgetown, TX



Andrés Buckley 

Franklin High School 
El Paso, TX



Frances Cates 

Hutchison School 
Memphis, TN



Esha Chakraborti 

The Woodlands College Park High School 
The Woodlands, TX



Felix Chen 

Westlake High School 
Austin, TX



Melissa Derzavich 

Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School 
Miami, FL



Tanya Dhingra 

Klein Cain High School 
Klein, TX



Jeremiah Do  

Garland High School 
Garland, TX



Ethan Fang 

The Kinkaid School 
Houston, TX



Alicia Flores 

New Caney High School 
New Caney, TX



Sofia Flores 

South Texas ISD Science Academy
Mercedes, TX



Faith Fulbright 

Permian High School 
Odessa, TX



Sanjna Ganjam 

William B. Travis High School 
Richmond, TX



Leila Garza 

Milby High School 
Houston, TX



Kayla Gillen 

Leander High School 
Leander, TX



Laysha Gonzalez 

J.W. Nixon High School 
Laredo, TX



Nina Hamuy 

Pine Crest School 
Fort Lauderdale, FL


Genevieve Holliday 

Cherry Creek High School 
Greenwood Village, CO



Tonya Hu 

Dulles High School 
Sugar Land, TX



Holly Hull 

St. Paul High School 
Shiner, TX



Eleanor Hutcheson 

Westlake High School 
Austin, TX



Noura Jabir 

St. John's School 
Houston, TX



Helen Jayesh 

Earl Warren High School 
San Antonio, TX



Esther Jin 

Clear Springs High School 
League City, TX



Abhinav Karthikeyan 

Richard Montgomery High School 
Rockville, MD



Stella Kastanek 

Bishop Lynch High School 
Dallas, TX



Leah Kegerreis 

Trinity Christian Academy 
Addison, TX



Aiden Lesneski 

Northside Health Careers High School 
San Antonio, TX



Niels Levy-Thiebaut 

Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions 
Houston, TX



Cindy Li 

Glenda Dawson High School 
Pearland, TX





Glen Liu 

Westwood High School 
Austin, TX



Emma Lloyd 

Woodrow Wilson High School 
Dallas, TX



Anoushka Luis 

Frisco High School 
Frisco, TX



Joshua Martin 

Highland Park High School 
Dallas, TX



Ethan Morales 

YES Prep Southeast
Houston, TX



Lisa Morin 

IDEA San Benito College Preparatory 
San Benito, TX



Ashwin Murali 

Glenda Dawson High School 
Pearland, TX



Joseph Newcomer 

School of Science and Engineering 
Dallas, TX



Rishi Niranjan 

Plano West Senior High School 
Plano, TX



Cristian Olivarez 

La Feria High School 
La Feria, TX



Elizabeth Palomares Guzman 

YES Prep Northside 
Houston, TX



Max Palys 

St. Mark's School of Texas 
Dallas, TX



Patrick Pham 

St. Thomas High School 
Houston, TX



Daniela Ponce Cartagena 

IDEA Carver College Preparatory 
San Antonio, TX



Chardelene Reyes 

Cypress Springs High School 
Cypress, TX



Melissa Richardson 

Dripping Springs High School 
Dripping Springs, TX



Diego Robbins 

Legacy of Educational Excellence High School 
San Antonio, TX



Mia Li Rodriguez 

Los Fresnos High School 
Los Fresnos, TX



Aiden Ross 

School for the Talented and Gifted 
Dallas, TX



Jordan Sampey 

Southwest High School 
San Antonio, TX



Noura Shoukfeh 

Lubbock High School 
Lubbock, TX



Caedon Spencer 

James Bowie High School 
Austin, TX



Aylin Tanriverdi 

Westwood High School 
Austin, TX



Nicholas Van Lente 

James Bowie High School 
Austin, TX



Michelle Wang 

Clements High School 
Sugar Land, TX



Shirley Zhu 

Bellaire Senior High School 
Bellaire, TX