2 Middlesex County Students Named US Presidential Scholars

Three Massachusetts high school students were named US Presidential Scholars, an honor given to only a small fraction of teens nationally.

Out of 161 students nationally, three Massachusetts teenagers were honored in the 2024 US Presidential Scholars program. 

Out of 161 students nationally, three Massachusetts teenagers were honored in the 2024 US Presidential Scholars program. 

Photo Credit: Pexels via louis-bauer-79024/Facebook via US Department of Education

The names of the scholars were announced on Thursday, May 9 by the US Department of Education as part of the 2024 US Presidential Scholars program, which recognizes excellence in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

Honorees are chosen by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, which picks the winners each year based on their success in the aforementioned fields, as well as through essays, transcripts, and school evaluations. .

Out of the 3.7 million high school seniors graduating this year, more than 5,700 students qualified for the awards, either through their SAT and ACT scores or through nominations.

Then, of the 5,700, only 161 students made the final list, including the following three from Middlesex and Worcester County teens:

  • Radhika Heda of Lexington, who attends Lexington High School in Lexington;
  • Sarah Jane Johansen of Tewksbury, who attends Shawsheen Valley Vocational Technical High School in Billerica; and
  • Aryan Mago of Shrewsbury, who attends Groton School in Groton.

“The 161 high school seniors selected for the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Presidential Scholars represent the best of our nation’s schools and inspire hope in the bright future of this country,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

“On behalf of President Biden, I am delighted to celebrate their accomplishments, and encourage these scholars to continue to aim high, lift up others, and embrace opportunities to lead.”

The US Presidential Scholars 2024 are made up of two students from each state (including Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and of US families living abroad) as well as 15 teens chosen at-large, 20 scholars in the arts, and 20 scholars in career and technical education.

In Massachusetts’ honorees, Sarah Jane Johansen was named as one of the scholars for excellence in Career and Technical Education.

Now in its 60th year, the US Presidential Scholar Program was created in 1964 to honor top-performing students; in 1979, it was expanded to include excellence in the visual, literary, and performing arts. It was again expanded in 2015 to include ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

For the full list of scholars, click here. 

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