Merit winner receives college-sponsored scholarship

Wilton High School senior and 2017 National Merit Scholarship finalist Nicholas Johnson received a college-sponsored National Merit Scholarship from Boston University, which he will attend in the fall.

Nicholas was among a group of more than 3,200 finalists who were selected by officials of each National Merit Scholarship sponsor college who plan to attend their institution.

The Presidential Scholarship he received from the university is awarded to fewer than 5% of incoming freshmen.

Merit scholars like Nicholas are selected based on academic and test performance, endorsements and recommendations by high school officials, extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership.

Nicholas was one of approximately 15,000 semifinalists who met the requirements for finalist standing.

Over the last four years, Nicholas has been involved in a number of organizations, activities and initiatives.

As a Boy Scout, Nicholas earned his Eagle Scout Award in December 2015 by building a tool shed for the Wilton Garden Club at Trackside. He was also elected to be his troop’s senior patrol leader his freshman year of high school.

Nicholas served as Wilton High School Model Congress secretary his sophomore and junior year, and earned Best Legislation, Best Speaker and Best Delegate awards at Yale, Harvard and Columbia conferences.

He is also a member of Ambler Farm’s trebuchet team, which he joined his freshman year and was part of the original team that helped build the farm’s pumpkin-throwing trebuchet.

“My freshman year, we travelled to Delaware and competed in the Punkin Chunkin competition, where we got to see our trebuchet in action,” said Nicholas, who still helps operate and lead teams on the trebuchet during local launches.

He was inducted into Wilton High School’s National Honor Society the fall of his junior year and worked as a personal assistant on Lynne Vanderslice’s campaign for first selectman.

“This, compounded with my experience in Model Congress, has given me new perspective into government and politics, and the issues we face today,” said Nicholas.

“I was also fortunate enough to get to know Connecticut state senator Toni Boucher after we met at my Eagle Court of Honor, and I have volunteered with her at a fundraiser event.”

Nicholas plans to study mechanical engineering with a concentration in aerospace at Boston University and said he hopes to “someday work at NASA or SpaceX as part of the mission control team, or even become an astronaut.”

To learn more about the National Merit Scholarship Program, visit