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Seven CCSD students earn $2,500 National Merit Scholarships

Merit scholars

RELEASE DATE: May 10, 2023

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) released the names of National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners for the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program, and the following seven Charleston  County School District (CCSD) students are on the list: 

Academic Magnet High School 

Spence D. Cox 

Summer D. DeSouza 

Angela Mei 

Moyu C. Yamaguchi 

Lucy Beckham High School 

Mila K. Ganaway 

Peyton C. Matheson 

Wando High School 

Inna Voloshchuk 

Ganaway and Matheson are the first-ever National Merit Scholarship winners at Lucy Beckham. 

“We are very proud of Mila and Peyton's exemplary performance and commitment to excellence in all they do,” said Beckham’s principal, Anna  Dassing. “They have worked very hard to earn this prestigious award and  they are modeling the way for generations to come.” 

Nine total CCSD students have earned scholarships in this 68th annual program so far. Two Academic Magnet students picked up corporate-sponsored scholarships last month, and the Raptors led the state with four  $2,500 scholarship winners this year. 

“We are so proud of these four AMHS students,” explained Academic Magnet  Principal Jacob Perlmutter. “This is just the beginning of the great things they will accomplish in their lives. We look forward to seeing what they do in  college and beyond.” 

Thirty-five distinguished high school seniors from South Carolina are receiving the  $2,500 scholarship in 2023. According to NMSC, these winners are the finalists in each state that are judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments,  skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. 

“Inna has consistently demonstrated tremendous academic and personal qualities that will lead her to great success in college and beyond,” said Wando’s  interim principal, Kim Wilson. “Inna is a young person of character and integrity,  driven to break down barriers that make it difficult for young women and others to  succeed. Inna is one of the brightest rising stars of the Class of 2023.” 

NMSC finances most of these single-payment National Merit $2500 Scholarships.  Corporations and company foundations that sponsor awards through NMSC also  help underwrite these scholarships with grants they provide in lieu of paying  administrative fees. Scholars may use their awards at any regionally accredited  U.S. college or university. 

High school juniors entered this year’s 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. 

Once students were selected as semifinalists, they fulfilled requirements to  become finalsts. They submitted a detailed scholarship application, which included  writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards,  and leadership positions. Semifinalists also had to have an outstanding academic  record, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and earn SAT®  scores that confirmed the qualifying test performance. From the semifinalist group,  over 15,000 students met finalist requirements. 

By the conclusion of the 2023 competition, about 7,140 Finalists will receive  National Merit Scholarships totaling nearly $28 million. 

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance,  was established in 1955 to conduct the National Merit Scholarship Program. The  majority of National Merit Scholarships offered each year are underwritten by some  340 independent corporate and college sponsors that support NMSC’s efforts to  honor the nation’s scholastically talented youth and encourage academic  excellence at all levels of education.