From left to right: Joseph Neidig, Jude Delikat and Trey Hydock have competed on the same math team together since sixth grade at Burns Middle School. Now, all three teens are seniors at Bloomingdale High School, and all three are National Merit Scholar Semifinalists.

Mathematics can be a difficult subject for some students, but it seems to come to Jude Delikat (17), Joseph Neidig (17) and Trey Hydock (18) with ease. All three teens are students at Bloomingdale High School, and all three are National Merit Scholar Semifinalists.

“Bloomingdale High has three National Merit Semifinalists for the class of 2021,” said Jude’s mother, Jemy Delikat. “Bloomingdale High School is the only school in the Brandon/Valrico/Lithia area to have students as National Merit Semifinalists this year. An interesting coincidence is that these three students were competing on the same math team together since sixth grade at Burns Middle School. It is amazing to think that they will continue to grow in academic strength and receive this honor together.”

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic scholarship competition in the United States recognizing top students. National Merit Scholar Semifinalists are picked from each state based on PSAT scores earned in their junior year of high school. Less than one percent of entrants become semifinalists nationally.

In February 2021, the vast majority of these students who meet academic and other requirements become finalists and may receive scholarships as well based on their abilities, skills and accomplishments. This is a notable academic honor dating back to 1955.

Jude is involved in various clubs at school and plays varsity lacrosse.

“He is the president of a nonprofit called JD Global Foundation, Inc., which serves the underprivileged locally and globally,” Jemy said. “Jude is very honored to receive this award and is excited about the opportunities it presents. He hopes to attend the honors program at either the University of Florida or at the University of South Florida while studying pre-medicine and business.”

Neidig intends to study computer science at the University of Central Florida. He is excited about receiving this honor and hopes to make it to the finalist standing with an opportunity to be awarded the State of Florida Benacquisto Scholarship.

Hydock is very excited about this honor as it opens numerous opportunities for college and scholarships and will certainly be helpful in the application process. Hydock would like to attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and double major in music and English with a minor in philosophy.

Congratulations to these stellar seniors at Bloomingdale High School.

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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.