EVANSTON, Ill. — National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) on Wednesday released the names of the first group of winners in the 57th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Approximately 1,000 distinguished high school seniors have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards financed by about 200 corporations, company foundations, and other business organizations.

Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the finalist level in the National Merit Scholarship competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors. Corporate sponsors provide scholarships for finalists who are children of their employees, who are residents of communities the company serves, or who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage.

Most of these 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.

NMSC will name recipients of National Merit $2500 Scholarships on May 2, and winners of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards on May 23 and July 9. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 8,300 academic champions will have won scholarships worth over $35 million.

California recipients of corporate-sponsored awards include:

Ken E. Ohhashi of Pleasanton, a student at Foothills High School in Pleasanton. Probable career field: computer science. Award: National Merit Nelson F. Peterson Scholarship, sponsored by Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., the Nutley, N.J.-based U.S. affiliate of the multinational group of companies headed by Roche Holding Ltd. of Basel, Switzerland. Roche is a major provider of prescription pharmaceuticals, diagnostic products and clinical testing services, home infusion therapy services, vitamins and fine chemicals for human nutrition, and animal feed additives and veterinary products. These scholarships are awarded to qualifying children of Roche employees.

Robyn M. Saiki of San Ramon, a student at California High School in San Ramon. Probable career field: science. Award: National Merit Chevron Corporation Scholarship. With approximately 59,000 employees, Chevron is a leading integrated energy company with subsidiaries that conduct business across the globe. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and other energy products; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops and commercializes the energy resources of the future.

For more information, visit www.nationalmerit.org.

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