Mount Carmel School senior Victoria Nicole Santos has been selected as a semifinalist in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, making her one of about 625 semifinalists who have been selected from a candidates pool of nearly 6,500 students.
Santos was informed of her selection in an email the Commission on U.S. Presidential Scholars sent her last Thursday, April 22. The commission will soon complete its selection of the high school seniors who will be named as the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars and the U.S. Secretary of Education will announce the final 161 students in mid-May.
According to the U.S. Department of Education website, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 via an executive order 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, which is then narrowed to around 4,500 Presidential Scholar candidates, to around 800 Presidential Scholar semifinalists, to the final 161 Presidential Scholars.