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Thirteen Michigan Students Selected Semifinalists for 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

LANSING – Thirteen Michigan high school students were selected as semifinalists by the Commission on U.S. Presidential Scholars of the U.S. Department of Education for the prestigious 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Nationwide, the U.S. Department of Education chose 625 semifinalists for the highly selective program, which recognizes some of the most distinguished and accomplished graduating high school seniors in the country. “Michigan’s U.S. Presidential Scholars Program semifinalists can take great pride in their accomplishments,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “I’m proud of these young people. They are representative of the great work that our state’s students are doing with support from their families and outstanding educators. I wish them luck as the U.S. Department of Education chooses this year’s scholars.”

The Michigan semifinalists and their schools are:

Thomas J. Besek

Dearborn High School

Curtis Morrison Brashaw

St. Louis High School

Trinity Hanna Chen

Detroit Country Day School

Anish Jain

Avondale High School

T’Emimimo Oshin

Herbert Henry Dow High School

Agalya Ramkumar

International Academy

Eric A. Rucker

Coldwater High School

Aanya Shah

Troy High School

Akshaj Sharma

International Academy

Prakash Shekhar

Portage Central High School

Nisha Singhi

International Academy

Olivia Jaden Stepnioski

Center Line High School

Daniel Li Xiao

Troy High School

Michigan’s semifinalists were chosen for broad academic achievement. Stepnioski was selected as a career technical education semifinalist. Besek is a member of the MDE Student Advisory Council.

Application to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is by invitation only. Each year, the program identifies a pool of graduating high school seniors who have scored exceptionally well on the SAT or ACT and have performed well academically. Other considerations may include nominations from chief state school officers and various recognition organizations for candidates based on outstanding scholarship.

The majority of U.S. presidential scholars are selected based on broad academic achievement.

The program also selects students through two additional pathways: academic and artistic scholarship in the visual arts, the performing arts, or creative writing; and ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

Following its review of the applications of the semifinalists, the Commission on U.S. Presidential Scholars expects to name the 2024 U.S. presidential scholars in mid-May, followed by a recognition program in June

Since 1964, the program has honored over 8,000 U.S. presidential scholars who have demonstrated scholarship, leadership, artistic excellence, and selfless service to others, the U.S. Department of Education said.

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