Local students nominated in Presidential Scholars program

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REGION – Multiple area students are in the running for recognition through the United States Presidential Scholars program.

Dixi Han is a student at Shrewsbury High School. Aryan Kumar, a Shrewsbury resident, attends the Advanced Math and Sciences Academy in Marlborough. Aarushi Pant is a student at Westborough High School and Justin S. Wang, a Northborough resident, is a student at the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Sciences. They have all been nominated for the program.

“I think the children all work really hard, and recognitions like these really motivate them to continue,” said Mondira Pant, mother of Aarushi Pant, in a recent interview with the Community Advocate. “Any recognition goes a long way.”

Pant notes that as a parent, she places an immense value on her children’s education, believing it to be critical in solving issues within the community.

“Education is something that we as parents emphasize,” said Pant. “If we have to tackle the problems coming ahead, you have to be more informed. Learning is the first step towards that.” 

The Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments. 

The program was expanded in 1979 and in 2015 to “recognize students who demonstrate exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts” and to “recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical fields,” according to the Department of Education. 

Of the 3.6 million students graduating from high school this year, around 5,000 students are receiving an invitation for their candidacy in the program. 

Graduating seniors are selected based on their outstanding performance on either the ACT Assessment or the College Board SAT. Seniors can also be selected based on a nomination from their Chief State School Officer or a partner recognition organization. 

A panel of educators will select approximately 600 semifinalists in early April. The Commission on Presidential Scholars will then choose up to 32 finalists before the Department of Education will announce the scholars in May.

Scholars will be awarded the Presidential Scholars Medallion.

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