Additional College-Sponsored Merit Winners

Additional College-Sponsored Merit Scholarship Winners Announced
Posted on 07/24/2023
National Merit Scholarship Award Winners

PLEASANT HILL, Calif. — Three additional Contra Costa County students are recipients of National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities. They join the three other county high school seniors previously announced in June; six students attending schools in Contra Costa County are now among more than 3,000 scholarships awardees announced nationally by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

The college-sponsored awards announced in June and July are highly competitive scholarships that provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. Some 153 higher education institutions (81 private and 72 public institutions) are underwriting Merit Scholarship awards.  

The following Contra Costa County students are added to the list of National Merit Scholarship award winners:  

Eshwar Chandrasekhar, Dougherty Valley High School, San Ramon, CA – National Merit University of Maryland Scholarship
Anneka Lupinek,
San Ramon Valley High School, San Ramon, CA – National Merit University of Florida Scholarship
Ryaken Nakamoto,
Dougherty Valley High School, San Ramon, CA – National Merit Northeastern University Scholarship

“Congratulations to these three exceptional high school seniors and their families,” Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey said. “Students, your hard work has paid off. These scholarships require extreme academic rigor, top of the mark test scores, and big achievements outside of the classroom. Public school counselors, teachers, coaches, and mentors, thank you for providing a support system that fosters this level of academic success.”

Chandrasekhar, Lupinek, and Nakamoto now join three other college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners announced in June and eight Contra Costa County seniors who were named National Merit Corporate-Sponsored Scholarship Winners in May. Altogether, fourteen high school seniors in Contra Costa County have received the prestigious scholarships in 2023.

Scholarship recipients submitted a detailed application, which included an essay and information about extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership positions. SAT or ACT scores were also factored into the judging, along with academic records, and recommendations from high school officials.

Of the recipients, more than 16,000 Semifinalists were named on a state-representational basis in numbers proportional to each state’s percentage of graduating seniors. Semifinalists were the highest scoring entrants in each state and represent less than one (1) percent of the nation’s seniors. The finalist group of 2023 National Merit Scholars has more than 7,140 recipients, with scholarships totaling $28 million. According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, awardees have the strongest combination of academic skills and performance, extracurricular accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies.


About Contra Costa County Office of Education
One of 58 counties in California, Contra Costa County has the 11th largest public-school student population in the state (approximately 169,225 students). Officially established in 1932, CCCOE has a long history of providing direct services to some of our county's most vulnerable students, including young people who are incarcerated, homeless, or in foster care, as well as students who have severe physical or emotional challenges.

CCCOE also provides support services to schools and school districts in Contra Costa County; services that can be handled most effectively and economically on a regional basis rather than by each of the county's 260 schools or 18 school districts. These services range from budget approval and fiscal support to technology infrastructure, communication support, and high-level professional development opportunities for educators. CCCOE maintains a website at

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