Forty Acres Scholars Class of 2021 Finalists Announced

The Forty Acres Scholars Program has announced an impressive list of 45 finalists for the Class of 2021. These high school seniors, who hail from four states outside of Texas—and of course from all over the Lone Star State—are exceptional inside and outside of the classroom. Among them are founders of companies and nonprofits, app developers, editors of school newspapers and literary journals, club presidents, team captains, varsity athletes, researchers, student pilots, and talented dancers and actors.

This remarkable group of students will visit Austin on March 2-4 to interview for a spot as a Forty Acres Scholar—the premier full-ride, merit-based scholarship at The University of Texas at Austin.

Learn more about this year’s finalists below.

Meet the finalists:

Alicia Alvarez

Houston, TX

YES Prep – North Forest


Travis Arnold

Spring, TX

Klein High School

Abhinav Ashar

Cypress, TX 

Cypress Woods High School

Sabrina Benitez

McAllen, TX

McAllen Memorial High School

Mary Margaret Burniston

Kerrville, TX

Tivy High School 

Olivia Cardenas

Houston, TX

The High School for Performing & Visual Arts

Anne Chow

Austin, TX

Westwood High School

Alex Chukwuma

Allen, TX

Allen High School

Ricky Cooks

Wake Village, TX

Texas High School

Shanaya Cross

Corpus Christi, TX

W.B. Ray High School

Carlyn Crow

Austin, TX

James Bowie High School

Carrie Cruces

Houston, TX

Saint Agnes Academy

Kevin Dalton

Naperville, IL

Naperville North High School

Joshua De Anda

El Paso, TX

El Paso High School

Ashley Deuster

Houston, TX

The Kinkaid School

Alyssa Diaz

Edinburg, TX

Edinburg High School

Zakiyya Ellington

Allen, TX

Allen High School

Scott Gold

Houston, TX

Emery High School

Morgan Grosch

Spicewood, TX

Cedar Park High School

Shehryar Khursheed

McAllen, Tx

IDEA Quest College Preparatory 

Min Kim

Austin, TX

Westwood High School

Joe Levin

Pacific Palisades, CA

Harvard-Westlake School

Desiree Lopez

Rowlett, TX

Garland High School

Pierce Lowary

Dallas, TX

Highland Park High School


Faith Matheson

Katy, TX

Cinco Ranch High School


John McDonald

Spring, TX

Klein High School


Ronen Melloul

Houston, TX

Carnegie Vanguard High School


Yessmeen Moharram

Plano, TX

Plano Senior High School

Cat Palacios

Edinburg, TX

Robert Vela High School

Hannah Penley

Houston, TX

Clear Lake High School


Bhavana Penmetsa

Plano, TX

Imagine International Academy of North Texas

Shilpa Rajagopal

Irvine, CA

Northwood High School

Gabriel Ramirez

McAllen, TX

McAllen High School

Margaret Rauch

Downers Grove, IL

Saint Ignatius College Preparatory School


Justin Rhines

Canton, IL

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman High School


Alejandra Rocha

Brownsville, TX

Saint Joseph Academy


Zach Rudner

Dallas, TX

Greenhill School

Aman Sharma

Portland, OR

Westview High School

Rylan Shewmaker

Abilene, TX 

Abilene High School

Madison Smither

New Orleans, LA

Benjamin Franklin High School

Maggie Stein

Dallas, TX

The Hockaday School

Michelle Tang

Houston, TX

Bellaire Senior High School

Olivia Vines

Austin, TX

L.C. Anderson High School


Annabelle Vu

Houston, TX

Jersey Village High School


Frank Yang

Houston, TX

Memorial Senior High School


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