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Five Tri-Cities seniors win in first National Merit Scholarship round

Rick Wagner • Apr 20, 2017 at 3:42 PM

KINGSPORT — Three Dobyns-Bennett High School seniors, one from Science Hill and one homeschooled senior from Washington County have received first-round National Merit Scholarships. Four of the five awards are financed by Eastman Chemical Co.

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) Wednesday named the first group of winners in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The five Tri-Cities students are among more than 1,000 seniors who have won corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship awards.

The local recipients are:

— Taylor J. Canfield of Gray, who is considering a career in biology and is a student at Science Hill. His scholarship is funded by Eastman.

— Kendall G. Bonner of Kingsport, who is considering a career in chemical engineering and is a student at Dobyns-Bennett. His scholarship also is funded by Eastman.

— Samantha Maness of Kingsport, who is considering a career in materials engineering and is at D-B. Her scholarship also is funded by Eastman.

— Chandler Woods of Kingsport, who is considering a career in pediatrics and is at D-B. His scholarship also is funded by Eastman.

— Joel M. Liebert of Limestone in Washington County, who is considering a  career in economics and is homeschooled. His scholarship is funded by Aon Corp., an international company headquartered in Chicago that provides insurance and financial services for individuals and corporate clients. 

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

Most of the 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. NMSC will name recipients of National Merit $2,500 Scholarships on May 10 and winners of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards on June 7 and July 17. By the conclusion of this year’s competition, about 7,500 academic champions will have won National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million.

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