Three Menlo Park teens named candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

by Contributed Content on February 23, 2017

Three residents of Menlo Park — Jamie L. Cleron (Crystal Springs Uplands School), Alexa Thomson (Sacred Heart Preparatory; photo right) and Andrew D. Yates (Menlo-Atherton High School; photo below right) have been selected as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. They were selected from nearly 3.5 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in 2017.

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 53nd year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

This program was established in 1964, by Executive Order of the President, to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the Program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

A distinguished panel of educators will review the submissions and select 800 semifinalists in early April. The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the President, will select the finalists, and the U.S. Department of Education will announce the Scholars in May. Scholars will be invited to Washington, DC, for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities.

Application is by invitation only. Students may not apply individually to the program, nor may their schools nominate them.

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