Two Mississippi high school seniors have been named U.S. Presidential Scholars for 2023, joining 159 other students across the nation that are have accomplished feats in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.
The Mississippi scholars include Madison G. Echols of Hattiesburg, a student at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, and Leo Mei of Madison, a student at Madison Central High School.
“I am proud of our Mississippi scholars and congratulate them for earning this national recognition,” Mike Kent, interim state superintendent of education, said. “Their achievement demonstrates how Mississippi’s public schools can help students reach their greatest potential.”
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 a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership.
Out of over 3.7 million students in the U.S. that are expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,000 candidates qualified for the 2023 scholar awards. Students qualify based on outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams, or through nominations made by chief state school officers, other partner organizations, and YoungArts.
“U.S. Presidential Scholars have always represented the future of our country and the bright promise it holds. I want each of these remarkable students to know: your passion and intellect, the pursuit of excellence, and spirit of service are exactly what our country needs,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said. “On behalf of President Biden, I am delighted to join your family, friends, and communities in celebrating your accomplishments. Aim high, share your talents, and continue embracing opportunities to lead as your exciting future unfolds.”
Approximately 8,000 of the nation’s top-performing students have been honored through the program over nearly six decades, with one man and woman being selected from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad each year. In addition, 15 students are chosen at-large, 20 in the arts, and 20 in career and technical education.
The Presidential Scholars Class of 2023 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program.
Click here for the full list of this year’s scholars.