Local Students Are Among National Merit Scholarship Corporation's Scholarship Award Designees


On May 8, 2024, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation has released the names of 56 Merit Scholarship designees in Massachusetts who will be awarded scholarships of $2,500 each, and local students, including one from Westwood, make the list. Nationwide, 2,500 Scholars were selected based their possession of what judges found to be the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

Local students who were successful in the competition can now call themselves National Merit Scholars. The commendable students and their local schools are listed below, beginning with Westwood, and then listed alphabetically by school location. 

For purposes of this article, "local" is defined as the area that includes Westwood and communities either bordering Westwood, along with smaller communities that are adjacent to a community that borders Westwood. The local area examined for Scholars included Canton, Dedham, Dover, Medfield, Milton, Needham, Norwood, Sharon, Walpole, Wellesley, West Roxbury, and Westwood.


National Merit Scholars from Local Schools

Westwood High School, Westwood

  • Jason H. Guo of Westwood, probable career field is computer science

Noble and Greenough School, Dedham

  • Katherine L. Wei of Lexington, probable career field is medicine
  • Maxwell A. Huang, probable career field is law

Milton High School, Milton

  • Alexander William McEttrick, probable career field is chemical engineering

St. Sebastian’s School, Needham

  • Raif S. Bolt of Brookline, probable career field is undecided

Dana Hall School, Wellesley

  • Xiangyi Wang of Wellesley, probable career field is business

Wellesley High School, Wellesley

  • Jonathan I. Liu of Wellesley, probable career field is academia

Roxbury Latin School, West Roxbury

  • Akhilsai R. Damera of Marlborough, probable career field is biomedical engineering


    Local National Merit Scholars Attending Non-Local Schools

    Phillips Academy, Andover

    • Ava Chen of Wellesley, probable career field is law

    Boston Latin School, Boston

    • Jessie Wang of West Roxbury, probable career field is biology

    Wheeler School, Providence, RI

    • Jacquelyn C. Song of Sharon, probable career field is writing

    The number of winners from each state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the nation’s graduating high school seniors. Massachusetts Scholars numbered 56. Nationwide, 2,500 Merit Scholars were chosen from a Finalist pool of over 15,000.

    The selection committee included college admissions officers and high school counselors who made their judgement based on information that included academic records and difficulty of the subjects studied, scores from the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), contributions and leadership in school and community activities, an essay and information from each Finalist, and a written recommendation by a high school official.

    This year’s National Merit Scholarship Program began in October 2022 when high school juniors took the PSAT/NMSQT, which served as an initial screen. One percent of the nation’s high school seniors, or over 16,000, who were the highest scorers in each state, were named Semifinalists. After a second screen of very high academic standards was applied to this group, over 15,000 students progressed to the competition's next stage. 

    This month, NMSC announced recipients of the corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards. On June 5 and July 15, NMSC will announce around 3,600 additional winners of college-sponsored scholarships. 

    By the end of the competition this year, more than 6,870 National Merit Scholarship recipients will be named, receiving scholarships worth a total of about $26 million.

    NMSC is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 specifically to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The program honors scholastically talented youth, and encourages academic excellence at all levels of education.

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