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The U.S. Presidential Scholars For 2023 Are Named

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The U.S. Presidential Scholars For 2023 Are Named

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The 59th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars has been announced. This year’s group consists of 161 outstanding high school seniors, who are being recognized for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

Being named a U.S. Presidential Scholar is considered one of the nation’s most prestigious academic awards for high school graduates. You can see the full list of this year’s class here.

“U.S. Presidential Scholars have always represented the future of our country and the bright promise it holds,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement Wednesday. “I want each of these remarkable students to know: Your passion and intellect, pursuit of excellence and spirit of service are exactly what our country needs.”

Established in 1964 by an executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson, the Presidential Scholars are selected annually by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. This year the selections were made from about 3.7 million high school seniors on the basis of outstanding academic performance, artistic achievements, technical excellence, essays, and commitment to community service and leadership.

More than 5,000 candidates qualified for the 2023 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by chief state school officers, other partner recognition organizations and YoungArts, the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists.

Selection of the Presidential Scholars is guided by a quota. Each year’s class is comprised of one male and one female student from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad. In addition, 55 other scholars are chosen – 20 in the arts, 20 in career and technical education and 15 selected at-large. The award does not carry any monetary stipend.

Since its inception 60 years ago, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 8,000 of the nation’s top-performing students. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

California led this year’s list with 12 scholars; followed by New Jersey with six. Five states (Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, and Virginia) had five scholars each, and four states (Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, and North Carolin) had four scholars each.

As always, reading about the newest Presidential Scholars reveals a set of outstanding accomplishments by the students in a broad range of areas. Several earned perfect or near-perfect scores on the ACT, SAT or Advanced Placement tests. Others have won some of the nation’s most competitive college scholarships. As examples, North Carolina’s Nipun Gorantla, who’s headed to Stanford University in the fall, has been named a Coca Cola Scholar; Emily Ocasio of Falls Church, Virginia won $175,000 in the Regeneron Science Talent Search.

Their ranks include valedictorians, National Merit Scholarship finalists and semifinalists, and inductees into the National Honor Society. Many of the scholars have received honors for their research, writing, and artistic works, and others have been recognized for their volunteer work and civic contributions.

You can hear Sophia Rabin, one of the Presidential Scholars in the Arts, perform one of her original musical compositions here. Award-winning photographer Bayan Yunis from Carrol High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has had her work featured on the Today Show. Filmmaker Alejandro Lombard has created a documentary about immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Student-athletes also are well-represented with tennis champions (Iowa’s Clair Gu), basketball players (Montana’s Jessie Bough), varsity soccer players (Oklahoma’s Lindsay Flores), cross country runners (North Carolina’s Josiah Hailey Young Tennessee’s Nate Martinez), and baseball players (DC’s Saul Villatoro) all included among the 161.

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2023 will be recognized for their outstanding achievements this summer with an online recognition program.

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