Mount Carmel School senior Victoria Nicole Santos has been selected as one of 161 American high school seniors from all over the U.S. to be selected as a 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholar.
U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona announced Santos’ selection as Saipan’s 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholar in an email sent by the U.S DoE press office to Santos on May 13, saying this year’s scholarship class “represent extraordinary achievements for our extraordinary times.”
Santos and the 160 other awardees will be recognized for their academic achievements by President Joe Biden and U.S. Department of Education staff this summer.
Of the almost four million high school students expected to graduate this year, more than 6,500 students qualified as U.S. Presidential Scholarship candidates. From there, 625 candidates were selected as scholarship semifinalists, and from the candidates pool only 161 students received the very prestigious scholarship.
Additionally, Cardona shared that each scholar was offered an opportunity to name his or her most influential teacher, who will be honored with a personal letter from the Secretary of Education. Santos chose MCS president Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero for the recognition.
According to the U.S. Department of Education website, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 via an executive order from the President to honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979 the program was expanded to recognize exceptional students in the visual, creative, and performing arts and further expanded in 2015 to recognize exceptional students in the career and technical education fields. The selection process begins with the millions of high school graduates who are eligible to apply across the United States to around 4,500 Presidential Scholar candidates, to around 800 Presidential Scholar semifinalists, to the final 161 Presidential Scholars.