Presidential Scholar Candidates

Posted on February 29, 2012 by  
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The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the U.S. Department of Education recently selected seven students from the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Students Kevin Friend, Vivian Hua, Matthew Orton, Adam Warmoth and Rowan Zellers of Los Altos High School and Reyna Hulett and Max McCarthy of Mountain View High School were named candidates.

The program, established in 1964, honors some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Candidates are identified annually for the academic component of the program based on exceptional scores on the SAT or ACT. Additional students qualify for their academic and artistic scholarship in the visual arts, the performing arts or creative writing.

Eligible students must register for and participate in YoungArts, a national program that identifies and recognizes young people who demonstrate excellence in the arts. Students must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent U.S. residents by the application deadline. Application for the program is by invitation only.

Interested candidates must complete and submit the required materials for review, including essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports and transcripts. The review committee evaluates the candidates on academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities and the quality and content of their essays.

From the initial 3,000 candidates, approximately 500 are named semifinalists. The Commission selects up to 121 Academic Scholars and up to 20 Arts Scholars.

The Presidential Scholars Medallion is presented at a White House ceremony in June. The scholars receive an expense-paid trip and are introduced to government officials, educators, authors, musicians and scientists. The visit to Washington, D.C., includes tours of museums and monuments in addition to recitals, receptions and ceremonies.

Each Presidential Scholar is asked to identify the teacher who most influenced him or her. The supportive educators are invited to attend the recognition events. A special reception is scheduled for the teachers, who receive the Teacher Recognition Award.

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