Local students named National Merit Scholarship winners

They are among 2,500 chosen nationally


More than two dozen local high school seniors were announced in May as winners of National Merit $2500 Scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

More than 15,000 students nationally were finalists in the scholarship program. The San Diego-area students were among more than 300 students chosen from California and 2,500 students chosen nationally for the scholarships. Scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited U.S. college or university.

National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in college. 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 chosen by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who evaluated information including the students’ academic records, scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, contributions and leadership in school and community activities, an essay, and a recommendation from a high school official.

These winners are the second group announced by the scholarship program. Nearly a dozen local students were announced as winners of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards in April. Two more groups have yet to be announced. Visit

Local winners are:

Canyon Crest Academy: Ayush Agrawal, Andrew K. Gao, Amy Wang Xu, Joshua E. Zhang

Canyon Hills High School: Tyler J. Bodenhamer

Del Norte High School: Hannah M. Chen

Francis W. Parker School: Ashveen Banga, Oliver S. Britton

La Jolla Country Day School: Sohan J. Chunduru, Vivian W. Li

La Jolla High School: Katherine S. Frost, Caroline S. Gaffney, Andrew K. Park

Mira Mesa High School: Sophia P. Welsh

Mt. Carmel High School: Daniel S. Kim

Patrick Henry High School: Emerson Utgaard

Point Loma High School: Caitlin Rose Wilson

San Dieguito Academy: Evan C. Ballow, Jonah K. Pawlak

Scripps Ranch High School: Vanessa Zhou

The Bishop’s School: Emma Hong, Clare K. Malhotra, Nicholas Xinquan Liu, Michael L. Zeng

Torrey Pines High School: Chengda Li, Megan Peng

University City High School: Meilene K. Hanaki

Westview High School: Aakarsh Vermani