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Three Gwinnett County Public Schools seniors awarded Corporate-Sponsored National Merit Scholarships

May 12, 2023

     The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) announced that three Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) seniors were selected as 2023 Corporate-Sponsored National Merit Scholarship Award winners, earning corporate-sponsored scholarships to help fund their college education. These National Merit Scholars are part of a group of distinguished students nationwide judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Corporate-Sponsored National Merit Scholarship winners from Gwinnett include:

Aahil Z. Lakhani of Peachtree Ridge High School

Probable career field: Mechanical Engineering


The UPS Foundation was created in 1951 by United Parcel Service. National Merit James E. Casey Scholarships and James E. Casey Scholarships for children of United Parcel Service employees are supported by the UPS Foundation, in honor of the founder of United Parcel Service.

Jonah Wu of Norcross High School

Probable career field: Industrial Engineering


Winston-Salem-based Truist Financial Corporation operates banking offices in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Indiana, Florida, and Washington, D.C. Truist and its subsidiaries offer full-service commercial and retail banking and additional financial services such as insurance, investments, retail brokerage, corporate finance, international banking, leasing, and trust. Truist awards are offered to the children of employees of the Truist family.

Richard C. Zhou of North Gwinnett High School

Probable career field: Psychology


Founded in 1901, Walgreens is the nation's largest and fastest growing drugstore chain and the industry leader in sales, profits, and technology use. The company operates approximately 4,000 stores in 43 states and Puerto Rico, with sales of over $28 billion. Walgreens' strategy is focused on convenience. The company strives to provide its patients and customers with outstanding service and the latest technology available.

     These students are among the first group of winners in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship program. Approximately 840 distinguished high school seniors across the country have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards financed by more than 107 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 the 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 students who plan to pursue college majors or careers the sponsor wishes to encourage.

     Most corporate-funded awards are renewable for up to four years of college undergraduate study and provide annual stipends that range from $1,000 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.

     High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program when they took the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The highest-scoring participants in each state were then selected as semifinalists. From the semifinalist group, more than 15,000 met the very high academic standards and other requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition.

     This is the first announcement of National Merit Scholars in 2023 by National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC®). NMSC also will name recipients of National Merit® $2,500 Scholarships later in May, and winners of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards in June and July. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 7,140 academic champions will have won National Merit Scholarships worth approximately $28 million.

     For more information about the NMSC, send an email to or call (847) 866-5100.