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Barrington student wins National Merit Scholarship

Ari Dulchinos will study computation and cognition at MIT in the fall

By Josh Bickford
Posted 5/22/20

Ari Dulchinos received some very good news recently.

The Barrington High School senior learned that she had been selected as a 2020 National Merit Scholarship winner.

Earning the scholarship …

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Please support local news coverage –

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Barrington student wins National Merit Scholarship

Ari Dulchinos will study computation and cognition at MIT in the fall

Posted

Ari Dulchinos received some very good news recently.

The Barrington High School senior learned that she had been selected as a 2020 National Merit Scholarship winner.

Earning the scholarship was no small task.

In order to be considered for the scholarship, Ari separated herself from more than 1 million other students in her class, and then out-performed thousands of other semifinalists.

In fact, Ari and the other National Merit Scholarship finalists represented less than 1 percent of all the high school seniors in the country. She is one of just eight students selected from Rhode Island for the award.

According to officials with the National Merit Scholarship program, the finalists have proven to have "the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies."

Ari has worked hard throughout her high school career.

As a junior, Ari partnered with fellow BHS student Zijun Weng to earn First Grant in the Rhode Island Science and Engineering Fair for their project titled "Chromosome Mapping Software." Ari described the work as "an intuitive, user friendly bioinformatics software for the visualization of gene loci across multiple human chromosomes." The project was also select for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center's Innovation Award.

As a senior, she was selected as the VFW Rhode Island Voice of Democracy Scholarship winner for 2020. She was named the state winner for the essay contest during a special banquet in January and then traveled to Washington DC to compete in the nationals.

More recently, Ari wrote, illustrated and published an educational picture book for children that shared health and safety tips against viruses. The book is titled "Can A Germ Get Sick? And Other Facts About Viruses” and is available on Amazon. Ari said she is donating the proceeds from the sale of her book to Lifespan Medical Center and its emergency preparedness fund for COVID treatment.

Ari said she has a desire to create and innovate in the fields of technology and science, and plans to focus on that in the future. 

"I believe that through pursuing and promoting educational achievement, we have the power to create positive global change and simultaneously catalyze personal growth, which are my ultimate goals," she said.

Ari will continue her studies this fall at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, majoring in computation and cognition and minoring in economics. She said she plans to focus some of her work in "machine learning research initiatives" and eventually wants to start her own artificial intelligence company where she can develop technology that will benefit underserved communities and promote literacy.

Praise for others

Ari is quick to credit others who have helped her along the way — in addition to her family members, Ari praised teachers Dr. Siliezar, Mr. Correia, Mrs. Pagliaro, Mrs. Brochu, Mrs. McGregor, Mrs. DaSilva, Mr. Marley and Mrs. Sun; administrators Mr. Hurley and Ms. Stebenne; her research mentor Dr. Ece Uzun from Lifespan Medical Clinical Bioinformatics; former BHS teacher Mr. Donegan; and the late Mrs. Stein, who worked in the guidance office.

Ari said Barrington Public Schools have provided her with the academic, social and personal support that has allowed her to grow confident in her skills and abilities over the years.

"I have experienced unforgettable moments and achieved innumerable academic possibilities: from research opportunities, to advanced classes, to internships, with the help of the amazing community of teachers and peers," Ari said. "I am incredibly grateful to BPS for the opportunities I have been granted, and will carry the skills and memories I have attained into the future."

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