Iowa City Student Among 3 Presidential Scholars in Iowa [PHOTO]
A trio of Iowa high-schoolers has earned a rare distinction.
There are only 161 of them in the country, including one from Iowa City West this year. 18-year-old Jonathan Chen was honored as a U.S. Presidential Scholar. According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, The White House Commission on Presidental Scholars selects this nationwide group each year for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.
After recently graduating from West High School, Chen is off to Northwestern University to study paleontology.
To give you some perspective on how rare this honor is, there are 3.7 million high-schoolers in the United States. Some 5,000 students meet eligibility standards for the award. Then, that field was narrowed to 161, and Chen is one of only three from Iowa. The other two include Pleasant Valley Community High School senior Kavya Kalathur of Bettendorf, and Chariton High School senior Maxwell J. Aulwes of Chariton, according to the Des Moines Register.
The United States secretary of education, Miguel Cardona, praised this year's class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, saying
Our 2022 Presidential Scholars represent the best of America, and remind us that when empowered by education, there are no limits to what our young people can achieve. Today, I join President (Joe) Biden to celebrate a class of scholars whose pursuit of knowledge, generosity of spirit, and exceptional talents bring our nation tremendous pride.