EVANSTON, Ill. — National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) on April 23 released the names of the first group of winners in the 59th 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 National Merit 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.

This is the first announcement of National Merit Scholars in 2014. NMSC will name recipients of National Merit $2500 Scholarships on May 7, and winners of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards on May 28 and July 14. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 8,000 academic champions will have won National Merit Scholarships worth over $35 million. For more information, visit www.nationalmerit.org.

Corporate-Sponsored Merit Scholarship winners in California include the following:

• Naomi M. Hamada of Albany, Albany High School. Probable career field: Engineering. National Merit Chevron Corporation Scholarship

With approximately 59,000 employees, Chevron Corporation is a world-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.

• Austin T. Yamada of Manhattan Beach, Mira Costa High School. Probable career field: Business. National Merit Northrop Grumman Scholarship.

• Theodore W. Akiyama of Torrance, South High School. Probable career field: Engineering. National Merit Northrop Grumman Scholarship.

Northrop Grumman Corporation, based in Los Angeles, is a global corporation primarily serving the defense and electronic systems requirements of governments, commerce, and industry in the U.S. and friendly nations around the world. Northrop Grumman annually supports Merit Scholarship awards for the sons and daughters of employees.

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