Thirteen Students Named 2020 National Merit College-Sponsored Scholarship Winners

News Release
June 03, 2020

Thirteen Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students from six high schools have been named winners of 2020 Merit Scholarship awards by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). The students are part of a group of more than 3,300 National Merit® finalists chosen to receive scholarships financed by higher education institutions. 


Winners of the scholarships, with their probable career fields in parentheses, are:

  • Shreya Tripathy of Chantilly High School (medicine), National Merit Boston University scholarship.
  • Daniel Beckstrand of Lake Braddock Secondary School (nanotechnology), National Merit University of Texas at Dallas scholarship.
  • Amy Smith of Lake Braddock Secondary School (law), National Merit Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, scholarship. 
  • Sophia Tedesco of Marshall High School (public policy), National Merit University of Chicago scholarship.
  • Benjamin Hacker of McLean High School (chemical engineering), National Merit University of Southern California scholarship.
  • Josephine George of Robinson Secondary School (medicine), National Merit University of South Florida scholarship.
  • Sabrina Atkin of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST) (mechanical engineering), National Merit University of Southern California scholarship.
  • Clara Boles of TJHSST (computer science), National Merit Purdue University scholarship.
  • Justin Feng of TJHSST (economics), National Merit University of Chicago scholarship.
  • Rohan Kalra of TJHSST (neuroscience), National Merit University of Southern California scholarship.
  • Keegan Lanzillotta of TJHSST (computer engineering), National Merit Northeastern University scholarship.
  • Venkata Somesula of TJHSST (pediatrics), National Merit Florida Atlantic University scholarship.
  • William Wang of TJHSST (computer science), National Merit University of Chicago scholarship.

Each scholarship winner was evaluated on his or her academic record; an essay and information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions; SAT scores that confirmed outstanding test performance; and a recommendation and endorsement from a high school official. Each award provides between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the recipient’s scholarship.


The final group of NMSC scholarship recipients from the class of 2020 will be named in July.
###