'Enjoy The Process' Says Fairfield County Teen, One Of Three CT Presidential Scholars

"Have an end goal in mind, but take time to enjoy the process of the endeavor in addition to its result," so suggests a Fairfield County teenager whose been selected one of 161 United Presidential Scholars to younger classmates.

Greenwich High School senior Cynthia Chen was named United States Presidential Scholar, one of 161 in the United States, three from Connecticut.
Greenwich High School senior Cynthia Chen was named United States Presidential Scholar, one of 161 in the United States, three from Connecticut. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Greenwich Public Schools

Greenwich High School senior Cynthia Chen has been selected as one of the 161  United States Presidential Scholars. Two more make up the total Connecticut contingent: Brandon Demkowicz from Farmington High School and Elizabeth Ann Wozniak from Orville H. Platt High School in Meriden. Eight students from Greenwich High School were initially eligible for semifinalist status.

"This gives you an opportunity to learn from and make any experience worthwhile. Be open to the fact that plans may shift midway and be flexible to react to these changes -- the outcome could be even better than originally expected," said Cynthia when asked about tips for success.

Each year over 4,500 candidates, based on having scored exceptionally well on the SAT or the ACT exams, are identified for the component of the program that focuses on academic achievement.

Eligible students are U.S. citizens and legal permanent U.S. residents graduating or receiving a diploma between January and August of the current program year, who have taken the SAT or ACT Assessment on or before the preceding October. 

“Cynthia Chen is an outstanding student and an even better person," said Greenwich High School Headmaster Ralph Mayo. "In order to be selected for this great honor you need to be passionate about your studies, and an individual who is committed to making their community a better place for us all.

"Cynthia has the admiration of our entire educational community and it has been a great pleasure to have her as a member of the amazing Class of 2020."

“Being named a Presidential Scholar has shown me that my ideas and actions hold meaning to other people, which gives me confidence to continue pursuing the various initiatives which form my interests," said Cynthia. "I want to keep on seeking ways to connect with others and work on current objectives to bring them to fruition. I’m very honored and grateful to now have access to a network of other scholars and figures, and I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout this journey."

In a press release from the Connecticut Department of Education, Gov. Ned Lamont said, “We couldn’t be more proud to have three young people from Connecticut receive one of the nation’s top honors for high school students, and I offer my congratulations to Cynthia, Brandon, and Elizabeth on this accomplishment. They represent some of the very best of our state, and I applaud their perseverance and drive, which led to this national recognition.”

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. 

Click here to see the list of Presidential Scholars.

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