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Ishita Rai And Nisha Shah Named 2020 Presidential Scholars

Press Release

The U.S. Department of Education announced May 21, 2020, the names of high school students chosen as the 56th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars. Of the 161 seniors selected for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields, 18 appear to be Indian-American based on their names. They range from Scholars in career and technical education fields to the arts and sciences, including mathematics.

“It is my privilege to congratulate the Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 on their outstanding academic achievement, community service, and leadership,” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is quoted saying in the press release. “These exemplary young people have excelled inside the classroom and out. And, while they are facing unprecedented challenges as they graduate from high school into a world that looks much different than it did just a few months ago, their determination, resilience, and commitment to excellence will serve them well as they pursue their next steps.”

Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,300 candidates qualified for the 2020 awards.

Indian-American U.S. Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 (The list  indicates their name, followed by the city or town, and the high school they graduated from)

* Scholar for U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts
** Scholar for U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education
Freya Francy Abraham, Maricopa – Maricopa High School
Rithvik Reddy Musuku, Gilbert – BASIS Chandler

Arnav Prashant Lande, Naperville – Waubonsie Valley High School**

Ankush Kundan Dhawan, Newburgh – Signature School

Pranav Tadikonda, Boyds – Richard Montgomery High School*

Ansh Patel, Riverview – Grosse Ile High School

Vayd Sai Ramkumar, Starkville – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science

Rahul Suresh Kanna, Chesterfield – Lafayette High School

Emhyr Subramanian, Reno – Davidson Academy of Nevada

Aniv Ray, Worthington – Columbus Academy

Sukanya Bhattacharya, Edmond – Heritage Hall Upper School

Neil Deshmukh, Macungie – Moravian Academy
Rhea Malhotra, Allentown – Moravian Academy

Rhode Island 
Ishita Rai, Warwick – St. Mary Academy – Bay View

South Carolina 
Vamsi Gorrepati, Columbia – Spring Valley High School

Sohum Makarand Kulkarni, Dallas – Parish Episcopal School

Nisha Shah, So Burlington – South Burlington High School

Sanjana Reddy Peddagorla, Brookfield – Brookfield East High

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations, and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

The 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars were selected for their outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations and the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ competition.

The 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education.

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 7,600 of the nation’s top-performing students. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

The complete list of 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available at http://www.ed.gov/psp.

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