2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars Announced

Thursday May 21st, 2020

Blog > 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars Announced

National YoungArts Foundation congratulates the 56th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, with special acknowledgment to the 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts (full list below) who are YoungArts award winners and were nominated for the honor by YoungArts. The U.S. Presidential Scholars award—one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic excellence, leadership qualities and community service—is presented on behalf of the President of the United States and honors up to 161 graduating high school seniors of high potential each year. Students who would like to be considered for Presidential Scholars in the Arts in the future must first apply to the YoungArts program. Applications open this summer at youngarts.org/apply.
Sarah Arison, Chair of National YoungArts Foundation, said, “Now, more than ever, it is important that we as a country celebrate the hope and promise of the next generation of great architects and designers, writers and poets, and visual and performing artists. YoungArts is honored to continue to support and nominate the nation’s most talented artists for the Presidential Scholars program. We congratulate all of the winners and look forward to continuing to offer our support throughout their artistic journeys.”

“It is my privilege to congratulate the Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 on their outstanding academic achievement, community service, and leadership,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “These exemplary young people have excelled inside the classroom and out. And, while they are facing unprecedented challenges as they graduate from high school into a world that looks much different than it did just a few months ago, their determination, resilience, and commitment to excellence will serve them well as they pursue their next steps.”

The 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts are:


 City, State


YoungArts Winner Year and Discipline

Anthony Arya

Santa Cruz, CA

Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School

2020, Voice

Olivia Bigtree

Nedrow, NY

ManliusPebble Hill School

2020, Visual Arts

Dusan Brown

Studio City, CA

Los Angeles County High School for the Arts

2020, Film

Isabella Cho

Wilmette, IL

North Shore Country Day School

2020, Writing

Caitlin Chung

Beverly Hills, CA

Harvard-Westlake School

2020, Photography

Sage Croft

Windermere, FL

Windermere High School

2020, Film

Laura Futamura

Middletown, NJ

High Technology High School

2020, Classical Music

Meagan Maureen Hipsky

Guilford, IN


2020, Classical Music

Dante Jervaise Kirkman

Modesto, CA

Palo Alto Senior High School

2019, Writing

Nouhoum Koita

Brooklyn, NY

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

2020, Dance

Ryan McCord

Dallas, TX

St. Mark’s School of Texas

2020, Photography

Teddy Alvarez-Nissen

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles County High School for the Arts

2020, Film

Mia Sarah Palomba

Lake Worth, FL

Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts

2019, Design Arts

Anoush Pogossian

Glendale, CA

Verdugo Academy

2018, Classical Music

Benjamin Tanchoco Rossen

Great Neck, NY

Great Neck South High School

2018, Classical Music

Mallorie Sievert

Jacksonville, FL

Douglas Anderson School of the Arts

2020, Theater

Pranav Tadikonda

Boyds, MD

Richard Montgomery High School

2019, Dance

Nicholas Michael Dean Turgeon

Greenville, SC

Wade Hampton High School

2020, Visual Arts

Jieyan Wang

Moscow, ID

Moscow High School

2020, Writing

Maggie A. Wilkinson

Ooltewah, TN

Chattanooga High School

2019, Writing

Becoming a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts
The first step to becoming a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts is to apply to the National YoungArts Foundation’s annual competition. Applicants must be between the ages of 15–18 or in high school grades 10–12. To be further considered for nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar by the organization, applicants must be high school seniors and meet all of the U.S. Presidential Scholars requirements.

Unfortunately, given the current situation regarding COVID-19, and in accordance with current national, local and public health guidelines and in close coordination with the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, the Scholars will not be traveling to Washington, D.C. for the National Recognition Program.