May 21, 2013

Two seniors from Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science at WPI were selected to receive $2,500 scholarship awards from among 15,000 finalists nationwide, the National Merit Scholarship Corp. announced.

The scholarship recipients from Mass Academy are Dhroova Aiylam of Shrewsbury and Aaron Hammond of Dunstable. They are in the group of 2013 National Merit Scholarship winners whose awards are sponsored by the corporation.

"Both of these young men are remarkably talented, hard working, and will do great things," said Michael Barney, director of Mass Academy. "We are very proud of their accomplishments, and I'm sure they will be very successful in whatever they decide to do in the future. I appreciate all their efforts while they were at Mass Academy. They are great role models for other students."

These scholarship awards are among the latest recognitions of achievement for the school. Mass Academy achieved the highest SAT scores in the state for 2013, and in October 2012 the Academy took home first-place honors in both the team and individual categories at the 25th Annual Invitational Mathematics Meet.

On April 24, approximately 1,000 recipients of corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards were named, and on May 29 and July 15 some 4,500 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship winners will be announced.

National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Both of these Mass Academy graduates will attend MIT in the fall.

These scholars were selected by a committee of college admissions officers and high school counselors, who reviewed a substantial amount of information submitted by both the finalists and their high schools: academic records, including difficulty level of subjects studied and grades earned; scores from two standardized tests; contributions and leadership in school and community activities; essays written by the finalists; and recommendations written by high school officials.

Hammond was an outstanding student and leader at Mass Academy. He was a member of the National Honor Society, captain and MVP of both TEAM 190 (FIRST Robotics) and Mock Trial team, and an ambassador for the Academy at numerous events during his junior and senior years. He was a member of Student Council, president of the Gay-Straight Alliance, and an active volunteer at City View Elementary School in Worcester.

Aiylam was a member of the National Honor Society and specialized in math competitions; he was a top qualifier in tournaments ranging from the Massachusetts Association of Math Leagues and WPI math meets to first-tier performances in Mandelbrot National Level competitions. He also competed on the Mass Academy Computer Science team, volunteered at the Ecotarium and Tower Hill Botanical Gardens, and taught Hindi for ISW (India Society of Worcester).


About Mass Academy of Math and Science at WPI

Mass Academy is a public, co-educational school of excellence program that enrolls about 100 academically accelerated 11th and 12th graders. Math and science are emphasized within a comprehensive, interactive academic program. The rigor of the junior year classes exceeds high school honors and AP, emphasizing depth over breadth, engaging students in project-based learning and more than 1,200 hours of instruction. Seniors complete a full year of college, enrolling in classes at WPI, a nationally-ranked university, thus making the academy the only public school in Massachusetts whose students attend a private university full time as seniors in high school. The academy is a collaborative effort among the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and the high schools of Massachusetts.