U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has announced that two Hillcrest High students have been selected as U.S. Presidential Scholars.
Seniors Michael Ogden Chen and Priyanka Mathews are two of the 161 students from across the country who earned the prestigious honor based on their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields. The third Utah student, Skyline’s Aaron Wang, received the honor in the CTE category.
“U.S. Presidential Scholars have always represented the future of our country and the bright promise it holds. 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,” said Cardona in a statement.
“On behalf of President Biden, I am delighted to join your family, friends, and communities in celebrating your accomplishments,” he said. “Aim high, share your talents, and continue embracing opportunities to lead as your exciting future unfolds.”
Theo White House Commission on Presidential Scholars chooses scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to leadership and community service.
Of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, 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.
As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars are made up of one young man and one young woman from each state, Washington, D.C. ,and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education.
Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 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.
The Presidential Scholars Class of 2023 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program.