Twenty-two metro Atlanta students in the Neighbor Newspapers’ coverage area were among the over 2,500 recipients of $2,500 scholarships in the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program, the Evanston, Illinois-based National Merit Scholarship Corp. announced May 13.

They join the over 1,000 corporate-sponsored award recipients who were announced in April. About 4,100 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners will be announced June 3 and July 13. By the end of this year’s competition, about 7,600 seniors will have won National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million.

The metro Atlanta $2,500 scholarship recipients, listed by school, are:

Alpharetta: Priya C. Joshi

Blessed Trinity: Matthew C. Thompson

Centennial: Crystal Favorito

Chattahoochee: Brian Amaro, Alexandra Mary Ames, Charles Liu

Denmark: Rithwik R. Guntaka

Holy Spirit Prep: Manuel A. Yepes

Milton: Christina Wang

North Springs: Ethan Goldberg

Northview: Amy Xu, Albert Wang Zhang, Kapish Potula, Patrick Wang

Pace: Aidan S. Gannon

Paideia: Anna J. Zheng

Roswell: Edward C. Esposito

Westminster: Ridings A. Bald, Anup S. Bottu, Jonathan D. Bowman, Albert J. Liang, Laura E. Sams

Woodward: William R. Gore

The 2,500 Merit Scholar awardees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 finalists in the 2020 program.

“National Merit $2,500 scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies,” the organization stated in a news release. “The number of winners named in each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors.”

These scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who appraised a substantial amount of information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools: the academic record, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT); contributions and leadership in school and community activities; an essay written by the finalist; and a recommendation written by a high school official.


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