Flinn Finalists one step away from Flinn Scholarship

December 15, 2021

By Matt Ellsworth

What began as a group of nearly 1,100 talented Arizona high-school seniors has been trimmed to the 39 Flinn Finalists.

The Flinn Scholars Program has named 39 of the state’s highest-achieving students as Flinn Finalists, advancing them to the final round of interviews for the Flinn Scholarship. The scholarship, valued at more than $130,000, includes funding for tuition, housing, meals, and study abroad at one of Arizona’s three public state universities. 

“All of the 39 Flinn Finalists are very deserving of the Flinn Scholarship. We are impressed with this diverse group of extremely bright and talented students who are working to better their schools, local communities, and the state of Arizona,” said Anne Lassen, Flinn Foundation vice president of scholarship and education initiatives. “A difficult choice lies ahead for our Selection Committee.”

The Finalists, who were notified Tuesday, will interview over two days in March with a five-person Selection Committee of statewide leaders, which will recommend the 20 students for the Flinn Scholars Class of 2022. The Flinn Foundation Board of Directors will officially approve the 37th class, which will be announced in April.

Twelve of the 39 finalists are from outside the Phoenix metro area, including Dewey-Humboldt, Eloy, Flagstaff, Mohave Valley, Page, and Tucson. Within the Phoenix area, the represented high schools span Goodyear to east Mesa.

The Flinn Finalists represent urban and rural public district and charter schools, including two online distance-learning institutions, and a private school.

The 39 Finalists were selected following interviews last week with 80 Semifinalists, who were chosen from 1,095 applications. Those students who were named Flinn Semifinalists but are not ultimately named Flinn Scholars will qualify for a specially designated scholarship from Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, or the University of Arizona.

About 80 current Flinn Scholars attend the Honors colleges of these universities at any given time.

The 2022 Flinn Finalists, including high school and city of residence, are:

Anokh Ambadipudi, Basha High School, Chandler

Neha Badhwar, Barry Goldwater High School, Phoenix

Neha Basu, BASIS Scottsdale, Scottsdale

Astrid Bell, Northland Preparatory Academy, Flagstaff

Katelyn Cai, BASIS Scottsdale, Scottsdale
Andrew Cervantes, River Valley High School, Mohave Valley

Diego Chavez, Santa Cruz Valley Union High School, Eloy
Karasi Colter, Betty Fairfax High School, Phoenix

Alicia Salazar Contreras, Cholla High Magnet School, Tucson

Loralei Cook, Arizona Connections Academy, Chandler
Portia Cooper, Sequoia Choice Arizona Distance Learning, Tucson

Nathaniel Cross, Catalina Foothills High School, Tucson

Lindsay Davis, Estrella Foothills High School, Goodyear

Emily Delabarra, Gilbert High School, Mesa

Kaya Dickson, Page High School, Page
Yaritza Durazo, Sunnyside High School, Tucson

Autumn Fairbanks, Skyline High School, Mesa
Isaac Kan, Desert Vista High School, Chandler

Kayla King, Chandler High School, Chandler

Natasha Kiriluk, Westwood High School, Mesa
Senou Kounouho, BASIS Peoria, Phoenix
Hannah Lennon, Bradshaw Mountain High School, Dewey-Humboldt

Denisea Lovato, Moon Valley High School, Phoenix

Moira MacCatherine, Perry High School, Chandler
Simra Maheen, BASIS Phoenix, Phoenix

Karah Mayer, Tanque Verde High School, Tucson

Samantha Munoz, Bioscience High School, Phoenix

Salil Naik, Mountain Ridge High School, Glendale

Desiree Nguyen, Barry Goldwater High School, Phoenix
Mia Osmonbekov, BASIS Flagstaff, Flagstaff

Lydia Pastore, Red Mountain High School, Mesa

Bradley Reece, Faith Christian School, Mesa

Rebeca Salas, Desert Vista High School, Phoenix

Lauren Salaz, Betty Fairfax High School, Phoenix

Niat Solomon, North Phoenix Preparatory Academy, Phoenix

Yeju Srivastava, Desert Mountain High School, Scottsdale

Ezri Tyler, Sunnyslope High School, Phoenix 

Antonio Vega, Pueblo High Magnet School, Tucson

Noah Wellman, Catalina Foothills High School, Tucson