Seven Montgomery County Public Schools students have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarships financed by companies, foundations and other business organizations.
The students are among 22 corporate-sponsored scholars in Maryland. Nationally, almost 1,200 corporate scholars were chosen from a group of 15,000 finalists in the annual program of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), based in Evanston, Illinois.
The winners' intended career fields and sponsors are:
Montgomery Blair High School: Anna Jeong, medical science, State Farm Companies Foundation; Theodore Mann, law, Times Mirror; Sarah Oh, medicine/engineering, Computer Sciences Corporation; Rachana Oza, psychology, Lockheed Martin Corporation Foundation; Jonathan Simon, applied physics, Mary E. Beyerle Trust
Richard Montgomery High School: Eric Lightman, computer science, Times Mirror
Walter Johnson High School: Lena Winestone, biochemistry, UNISYS Corporation
Most corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarships are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and range in value from $500 to $10,000 annually. Some of the awards provide a single payment between $2,000 and $5,000.
The scholars are all high school seniors who were selected for their abilities, accomplishments, potential for success in rigorous college studies and other qualifications of particular interest to one of the nearly 400 business organizations that fund the awards.
Students attained National Merit finalist status based on criteria such as exceptional performance on standardized tests and in the classroom, strong recommendations from school officials and a statement of goals and interests. By the end of this year's competition, some 7,900 Merit Scholarship winners will be chosen from among this finalist group.
Recipients of two other kinds of Merit scholarships will be announced later this year. On May 3, the NMSC will announce the winners of National Merit $2,000 Scholarships, for which all finalists compete. On May 31 and in late July, the corporation will announce winners of Merit Scholarships sponsored by colleges and universities for finalists who will attend those institutions.