Local students nominated for U.S. Presidential Scholar recognition

Nearly a dozen students representing four local high schools are among the 3,000 students nationwide nominated for U.S. Presidential Scholar recognition.

Local nominees include Julia Chmyz, Runming Dai, Caroline Deng and Jerry Liu of Los Altos High; Diana Gong, Sonia Nigam, Jennifer Duan and Nadia Khayrallah of Mountain View High; Lorraine Wong and Joshua Bollar of Harker School; and Veronica Boyce of Pinewood School.

The candidates were selected from among 3.4 million high school seniors. Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is one of the highest honors bestowed on high school seniors. Scholars are chosen on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, character and involvement in community and school activities.

Exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT qualifies candidates for selection. Further consideration is based on students’ essays, self-assessments, activities, school recommendations and transcripts.

A panel of judges will review the submissions and select 500 semifinalists in April. The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of 32 citizens appointed by President Barack Obama, selects the finalists: one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. students living abroad; 15 students at large; and up to 20 students from the creative and performing arts. The U.S. Department of Education will announce the scholars in May.

The Presidential Scholars will be invited to Washington, D.C., for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and participate in events and activities with their elected representatives, educators and other government leaders.

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