Media Release: Palm Beach County Students Recognized as National Merit Scholars

WEST PALM BEACH – This year, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation recognized over 30 Palm Beach County senior students in their annual National Merit Scholarship Program. After rigorous SAT testing and scholarship applications, the most distinguished high school seniors are awarded scholarships in one of three categories: Corporate-Sponsored Scholarships, National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, or College-Sponsored Scholarships.

The first category, Corporate-Sponsored Scholarships, in which two Palm Beach County senior students were awarded scholarships, are financed by nearly 200 corporations, company foundations, and other business organizations. Scholars are selected from students who advanced to the Finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors. Corporate-sponsors represent nearly all sectors of American industry from companies like PWC to Motorola. Most of the awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $500 to $10,000 per year. Some provide a single payment between $2,500 and $5,000. Recipients can use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university of their choice.
Name
Hometown
High School
Corporate Sponsor
Claire R. Patterson
Lake Worth
Suncoast
ACI Worldwide, Inc.
Shreya N. Patel
Loxahatchee
Seminole Ridge
Walgreen Co.
The second category, National Merit $2,500 Scholarships, in which nine Palm Beach County senior students were awarded scholarships, judges students off the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The nine Palm Beach County students were chosen from a talent pool of 15,000 exceptional finalists in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation finances most of these single-payment National Merit $2,500 Scholarships.

Name
Hometown
High School
Vinayak Kawatra
Boca Raton
Atlantic
Lauren A. Morejon
Boca Raton
Boca Raton
Emilie C. Pouleriguen
Boca Raton
Boca Raton
Eli M. Wiston
Lake Worth
Suncoast
Matthew A. Po
Loxahatchee
Suncoast
Andre B. Soucy
Loxahatchee
Seminole Ridge
William Z. Gao
Palm Beach Gardens
Suncoast
Matthew B. Hakkarainen
Palm Beach Gardens
A. W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts
Shang Chen
Wellington
Suncoast
The final category, College-Sponsored Scholarships, awarded 23 different outstanding Palm Beach County senior students. These scholarships were financed by U.S. colleges and universities, and scholarship winners were chosen by officials of each sponsor college from the pool of Finalists who plan to attend their institution. These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.
Name
Hometown
High School
School Sponsoring
Gabriela I. Cestero
Atlantis
Suncoast
Vanderbilt University
Matthew S. Christie
Boca Raton
Boca Raton
University of Miami
Sam C. Enfield
Boca Raton
West Boca
University of Florida
Kathryn F. Ghougasian
Boca Raton
West Boca
University of Miami
Sarah R. Klein
Boca Raton
Atlantic
University of Florida
Valerie A. Kwong
Boca Raton
Atlantic
University of Florida
Fabrizia Villela Mugnatto
Boca Raton
Atlantic
Emory University
Dara Sheryl Weinstein
Boca Raton
Spanish River
University of Chicago
Cole Wilson
Boca Raton
Spanish River
University of Southern California
Kierstin Alexandra Smith
Boynton Beach
Suncoast
University of Florida
Daniel A. Fernandes
Greenacres
Atlantic
University of Florida
Kiki R. Montgomery
Jupiter
Jupiter
University of Florida
Casey Politano
Jupiter
William T. Dwyer
University of Florida
Claire K. Scozzari
Jupiter
Suncoast
University of Florida
Hannah E. Trenkie
Jupiter
Suncoast
University of Florida
Carlos L. Hernandez
Lake Worth
Park Vista
University of Central Florida
Ashley Jenkins
Lake Worth
Park Vista
University of Florida
Ryan M. Ahmed
Palm Beach Gardens
Suncoast
University of Florida
Paige Nicole Beckey
Palm Beach Gardens
William T. Dwyer
University of Florida
Natasha Mandi
Palm Beach Gardens
Suncoast
University of Southern California
Alexander M. Levine
Tequesta
Suncoast
Emory University
Austin Jay Lent
Wellington
Suncoast
University of Miami
Jonathan O. WIlson
Wellington
Wellington
University of Central Florida
Additional winners are expected to be announced in July.