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Four Seniors Announced as U.S. Presidential Scholar Candidates

Yearbook photos of Benjamin Rubin, Amit Saha, Joy Yang and Richard Zhuang

The U.S. Department of Education has announced four seniors from the Great Neck Public Schools as candidates in the 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. This year’s candidates include Benjamin Rubin from North High School, and Amit Saha, Joy Yang and Richard Zhuang from South High School.

Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Application for this program is by invitation only.

Candidates must submit essays, self-assessments, secondary school reports, and transcripts to be considered further. A distinguished panel of educators will review the submissions and select approximately 600 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.

Annually, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from among that year’s senior class, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President to recognize some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership, and service to school and community. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students demonstrating exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. In 2015, the program was expanded once again to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical fields.