Eight Providence Public Schools Students Nominated For U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

The Providence Public School Department is pleased to announce that eight high school seniors, representing four of its eight high schools, have been named candidates to become United States Presidential Scholars based on their broad academic or artistic achievements. This year’s pool of Providence candidates represents more schools than in any year over at least the last twelve years of available records.

The United States Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President to recognize and honor some of our nation’s most distinguished high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts.

Application for the Presidential Scholars Program is by invitation only. Students must be U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent U.S. Residents by the application deadline, enrolled in their senior year of high school and score exceptionally well on either the SAT of the College Board or the ACT of the American College Testing Program. Candidates for the arts component must meet the same criteria and participate in the National Young/Arts Program.

The U.S. Department of Education then examines test records for the top 30 males and top 30 females in each of the states/jurisdictions. To be considered further, candidates must submit essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports and transcripts. For the arts component, candidates must also submit audiotapes, videotapes, slides or manuscripts demonstrating their artistic accomplishments. The judges review material submitted by the applications and select up to 150 award candidates from ten artistic disciplines.

All candidates are evaluated on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities and an analysis of their essay.

U.S. Presidential Scholars candidates from the Providence Public School Department are:

Devon Callanan, Classical High School

Isabel Espinal, Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School

Frank Jajo, Central High School

Makara Keo, Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School

Kevin Leon, Mount Pleasant High School Henry J. Mayer, Classical High School Argela Perez, Central High School Joseph A. Zurier, Classical High School

In late March, approximately 500 semifinalists are chosen by an independent national committee of educators convened by the Commission on Presidential Scholars, with 6 to 20 semifinalists identified for each state/jurisdiction.

In April, the Commission on Presidential Scholars makes the final selection of one young man and young woman from each state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and from families of U.S. citizens living abroad. In addition, up to 15 students are chosen at large.

Each year, up to 141 deserving students are honored as Presidential Scholars. It is recognized as one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

Students chosen as U.S. Presidential Scholars are recognized with an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. in June. They will receive their medallion at a White House ceremony and will have the opportunity to meet and speak with accomplished national leaders. They will also tour the nation’s capital and other significant museums and monuments.

More on the U.S. Presidential Scholars program can be found here: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/psp/index.html

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