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Two Seniors Named National Merit Semifinalists—Read Their Bios

In September, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation named two Loyola Academy seniors semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Congratulations to Chloe C. Molins and Benjamin W. Griesmeyer! The National Merit Scholarship Program honors individual students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies.
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. High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record through high school, be endorsed or recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. 

These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.

The Loyola community congratulates the following seniors from the Class of 2023:

Benjamin W. Griesmeyer
Chloe C. Molins


Benjamin W. Griesmeyer

Cocurricular Activities:  Varsity baseball , travel baseball, Torch Club - executive board, National Honors Society, Clavius Scholar, Scholastic Bowl - student leader, Math Team, Guitar Ensemble, Arrupe - Asian Youth Services

Favorite Class at LA: My favorite class at Loyola was AP Biology with Mrs. Waid-Prince. I have always had an interest in life-science, and Mrs. Waid-Prince helped further my passion to learn biology. She created a classroom culture that was focused both on learning and relationship-building. Her lectures went beyond the classroom walls, helping me learn how to be a better son, brother, and friend. The impact she had on both my academic life and social life was profound, and I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to be in her class.

Service Experience: Starting my junior year, I was a member of Torch Club—one of the many clubs at Loyola that is formed in the school’s dedication to service. Whether I was directing parking for football games or regulating the flow of people into and out of basketball games, I was always grateful for the opportunity to give back to my community. After being part of Torch Club for just one year, my influence was impactful enough that I was elected to be one of four people in charge of running the biggest service club at Loyola. In addition to being a part of Torch Club, I have also been a part of the Arrupe Service Program for two years. My participation in Arrupe has always involved tutoring kids, which I find very rewarding. Seeing the light in their eyes as they figure out the answer to a question they were stuck on makes me want to continue to dedicate my time to the pursuit of helping children. 

Any special hobbies, interests, or talents?
One of my favorite hobbies has actually come about quite unexpectedly. I initially took Beginner Guitar my junior year to check off the fine arts requirement that Loyola has, but the class gave me a passion for making music. I loved playing guitar so much that I decided to join the Guitar Ensemble at Loyola, an experience that has never failed to impress me. Another one of my favorite things to do is play baseball. I’ve been playing ever since I could walk, and my love for the game has only grown. I intend to pursue both of these hobbies in college. Another one of my hobbies is puzzles—particularly logic puzzles. I love to challenge my brain and see how much I know, which is why I’m also a member of the Math Team and Scholastic Bowl Team. 


Have you thought about what you might study in college? Or where you'll be in 5, 10 years?
I intend to major in biology in college, and after graduation I intend to go to medical school. I would love to be a physician, particularly a neonatologist (a doctor that cares for newborns). The road to becoming a doctor is a long and tedious one, but I have no doubt that I’ll be able to do it.

How has Loyola and your experience here helped you develop your talents?
Loyola’s inclusive community and challenging academics have helped develop me into the well-rounded person I am today. The culture that the Academy has fostered allows me to pursue all of my interests while maintaining a high academic record. Inclusivity is at the forefront of everything Loyola does, and this attitude has made me comfortable to be my true self throughout my time here.


Chloe C. Molins

Cocurricular Activities:  Theater, Thespian Board, Nothin’ But Treble - co-leader, Choir - co-president, Student Council - vice president, Women Leaders of Loyola Club - club leader

Favorite Class at LA: My favorite class at Loyola was AP Psychology with Mrs. Zera, which I took during my junior year. I loved learning about the technicalities of brain function and applying psychological phenomena in real life.
 

Service Experience: I have participated in the Arrupe Service Program at Asian Human Services and Evanston Vineyard Food Pantry.  While it feels good to help others in need, my service work is also a reminder of how blessed we are to be students at Loyola. I have also been a voting commissioner of the Wilmette Human Relations Commission, which seeks to promote justice and equity and foster an inclusive community in Wilmette.


Any special hobbies, interests, or talents? 
My main hobbies/talents are acting, singing and dancing.


Have you thought about what you might study in college? Or where you'll be in 5, 10 years?
I would like to study theater and public policy or political science in college. In 5 or 10 years, I would love to still be performing and pursuing my artistic passions.


How has Loyola and your experience here helped you develop your talents?
Loyola, specifically through its arts community, has allowed me to pursue what I love most — the performing arts. I have been able to perform in many shows with other talented artists and play a variety of roles that have helped me grow as an artist. I have also been able to take on leadership roles in the activities I cherish the most.
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