Thirty PBCSD Students Earn National Merit Scholarships

Thirty PBCSD Students Earn National Merit Scholarships
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – June 13, 2018 – 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.

NameHometownHigh SchoolCorporate Sponsor
Claire R. PattersonLake WorthSuncoast ACI Worldwide, Inc.
Shreya N. PatelLoxahatcheeSeminole 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. 

NameHometownHigh School
Vinayak KawatraBoca Raton Atlantic
Lauren A. MorejonBoca RatonBoca Raton
Emilie C. PouleriguenBoca RatonBoca Raton
Eli M. WistonLake WorthSuncoast
Matthew A. PoLoxahatcheeSuncoast
Andre B. SoucyLoxahatcheeSeminole Ridge
William Z. GaoPalm Beach GardensSuncoast
Matthew B. HakkarainenPalm Beach GardensA. W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts
Shang ChenWellingtonSuncoast

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.

NameHometownHigh SchoolSchool Sponsoring
Gabriela I. CesteroAtlantisSuncoast Vanderbilt University
Matthew S. ChristieBoca RatonBoca Raton University of Miami
Sam C. EnfieldBoca RatonWest Boca University of Florida
Kathryn F. GhougasianBoca RatonWest Boca University of Miami
Sarah R. KleinBoca RatonAtlantic University of Florida
Valerie A. KwongBoca RatonAtlantic University of Florida
Fabrizia Villela MugnattoBoca RatonAtlantic Emory University
Dara Sheryl WeinsteinBoca RatonSpanish River University of Chicago
Cole WilsonBoca RatonSpanish River University of Southern California
Kierstin Alexandra SmithBoynton BeachSuncoast University of Florida
Daniel A. FernandesGreenacresAtlantic University of Florida
Kiki R. MontgomeryJupiterJupiter University of Florida
Casey PolitanoJupiterWilliam T. Dwyer University of Florida
Claire K. ScozzariJupiterSuncoast University of Florida
Hannah E. TrenkieJupiterSuncoast University of Florida
Carlos L. HernandezLake WorthPark Vista University of Central Florida
Ashley JenkinsLake WorthPark Vista University of Florida
Ryan M. AhmedPalm Beach GardensSuncoast University of Florida
Paige Nicole BeckeyPalm Beach GardensWilliam T. Dwyer University of Florida
Natasha MandiPalm Beach GardensSuncoast University of Southern California
Alexander M. LevineTequestaSuncoast Emory University
Austin Jay LentWellingtonSuncoast University of Miami
Jonathan O. WIlsonWellingtonWellington University of Central Florida

Additional winners are expected to be announced in July.

About the School District of Palm Beach County

The School District of Palm Beach County is the 10th largest in the nation and the fifth largest in the state of Florida with 185 schools, serving more than 172,000 students who speak 154 languages and dialects. As the largest employer in Palm Beach County, the school district has more than 22,000 employees, including more than 12,000 teachers. To learn more about the School District of Palm Beach County, visit
By: InFlorida Staff Writer on Jun 13, 2018
Tags: Palm Beach County, students, schools, National Merit Scholarships
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