Scholars receive nominations



Top Row (L to R): Jenna Bao, David Godar; Bottom Row (L to R): Stephanie Hong, Harsimran Makkad.

  The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is among the highest honors a high school student may achieve. SHS has four candidates for this prestigious award this year.

  Seniors Jenna Bao, David Godar, Stephanie Hong, and Harsimran Makkad are all candidates.

  “I am extremely honored to be a candidate for such a program, and I think it’s an incredible opportunity,” Hong said.

  Students must be invited to apply, and only 161 students are named National Scholars. All candidates were asked to apply; however, Godar chose not to send in an application.

  The application is similar to the Common App, but there is also an essay requirement in which applicants were asked to describe an influential teacher who impacted their learning.

  “I was honored! I’d heard of presidential awards for service and the arts before, but I didn’t actually know that there was a recognition for academics. The application to become a scholar was insane, but it was great to be nominated. I suppose it’s a nice way to sum up a high school career,” Bao said.

  The program was created in 1964 to honor the highest achieving seniors who were exceptional in the academics, arts, or career/technical pathways.

  “I was very excited to be considered for such a prestigious honor. To be a candidate is a major accolade in itself, but to be an actual scholar would be an incredible honor,” Makkad said.

  In mid- April, the Commission on Presidential Scholars reviews the applications of all semifinalists based on the same criteria used by the review committee. The Commission selects up to 161 U.S Presidential Scholars each year. All scholars are honored for their accomplishments during the National Recognition Program, which is held in June in Washington, D.C.

   U.S. Presidential Scholars are guests of the Commission during the National Recognition Program and enjoy an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with government officials, educators, and other accomplished people.

  To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars are awarded the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House; contrary to what the name suggests, there actually is no monetary reward.