Highest Honor Bestowed to Talented High School Seniors from
21 States and Representing Nine Artistic Disciplines
MIAMI, FL (January 23, 2023) – YoungArts announced today the nominees for the 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify artistic and academic excellence. YoungArts is the sole nominating agency for this high honor, and the 60 candidates, representing 21 states and Americans abroad, and nine artistic disciplines, are all YoungArts award winners. The students have been nominated to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program following National YoungArts Week. Open to YoungArts award winners at the Finalist level, 2023 National YoungArts Week included masterclasses and workshops during which the artists were further evaluated for nomination to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, as well as performances, writers’ readings, film screenings and an exhibition, allowing audiences opportunities to meet and experience these outstanding artists and their work.
All completed and submitted U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts applications will be reviewed by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. The Commission will ultimately select 20 high school seniors to be recognized as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts for their academic and artistic accomplishments, demonstrated leadership, community service and outreach initiatives, and overall creativity.
“It is with great pride that YoungArts nominates these 60 extraordinary artists to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars,” said Clive Chang, President. “These artists have demonstrated outstanding artistry and intellectual curiosity. They have shown us not only their true dedication to their craft, but also their immense joy and a remarkably comprehensive understanding of the world around us that characterizes this new generation of artists. We are all excited to watch and support these artists as they grow and evolve in their artistic journeys.”
The 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts nominees are:
|Name||Hometown City, State||School||YoungArts Winner Year, Discipline|
|Calvin Alexander||Shreveport, LA||Caddo Parish Magnet High School||Classical Music, 2023|
|Joshua Armstrong||Spring Hill, FL||Pasco eSchool||Dance, 2023|
|Catrielle Barnett||Golden Valley, MN||Perpich Center for Arts Education||Design Arts, 2023|
|Mariae Broome||Interlochen, MI||Interlochen Arts Academy||Voice, 2023|
|Lucas Buckwell||Miami, FL||New World School of the Arts||Design Arts, 2023|
|Chloë Cheers||New York, NY||Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts||Theater, 2023|
|Mia Davis||San Diego, CA||Academy Our Lady of Peace||Writing, 2023|
|Fallon Dern||Studio City, CA||Harvard-Westlake School||Film, 2023|
|Zoe Dorado||Castro Valley, CA||Castro Valley High School||Writing, 2023|
|Kennedy Eagleton||Dallas, TX||Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts||Writing, 2023|
|Ella Edmundson||Dallas, TX||Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts||Theater, 2023|
|Raisa Effress||Studio City, CA||Harvard-Westlake School||Photography, 2022|
|Similolu Fadel||Lucas, TX||Lovejoy High School||Visual Arts, 2023|
|Samuel Fine||Orlando, FL||Florida Virtual School||Dance, 2023|
|Zakiriya Gladney||Tucson, AZ||University High School||Photography, 2023|
|Georgia Greene||Shelby, NC||Cleveland Innovation Academy||Dance, 2023|
|Ulysses Hill||Los Angeles, CA||Cathedral High School||Writing, 2023|
|Vibha Janakiraman||West Chester, PA||Legacy of Educational Excellence High School||Classical Music, 2022|
|Grey Jensen||Salt Lake City, UT||Skyline High School||Photography, 2023|
|Brianna Keingatti||Columbia, MO||Columbia-Rock Bridge Senior High School||Dance, 2023|
|Elizabeth Keller||Interlochen, MI||Interlochen Arts Academy||Writing, 2023|
|Joel Kim||Saratoga, CA||Saratoga High School||Classical Music, 2023|
|Mira Kim||Alexandria, VA||Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology||Classical Music, 2023|
|Yuri Lee||Eastchester, NY||Tuckahoe High School||Classical Music, 2023|
|Audrey Lim||Wallingford, CT||Choate Rosemary Hall||Writing, 2023|
|Daniel Liu||Orlando, FL||Lake Highland Preparatory School||Writing, 2023|
|Katherine Liu||Wellesley, MA||Wellesley High School||Classical Music, 2022|
|Alejandro Lombard||Studio City, CA||Harvard-Westlake School||Film, 2023|
|Miranda Lu||San Jose, CA||Leland High School||Visual Arts, 2023|
|Dalila Lugo||Miami, FL||New World School of the Arts||Voice, 2023|
|Yusheng Luo||Alhambra, CA||Alhambra High School||Writing, 2023|
|Caroline McAleavey||Milford, CT||Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall||Dance, 2023|
|Khalil Mcknight||New Orleans, LA||New Orleans Center for Creative Arts||Visual Arts, 2023|
|Lauren Mei||Santa Ana, CA||Orange County School of the Arts||Theater, 2022|
|Fiorela Miria||New York, NY||Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts||Voice, 2023|
|Emily Moreland||Boca Raton, FL||Florida Atlantic University High School||Theater, 2023|
|Esmé Nix||Los Angeles, CA||Los Angeles County High School for the Arts||Film, 2023|
|Sophia Paffenback||Baltimore, MD||George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology||Voice, 2023|
|Ashley Park||Santa Ana, CA||Orange County School of the Arts||Writing, 2023|
|Zariyah Perry||Dallas, TX||Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts||Theater, 2023|
|George Porteous||New York, NY||Dalton School||Theater, 2023|
|Ava Preston||Solon, OH||Solon High School||Voice, 2023|
|Sophia Rabin||Newport Beach, CA||Corona Del Mar High School||Voice, 2023|
|Cassidy Reigel||Baltimore, MD||Baltimore School of the Arts||Dance, 2023|
|Christopher Shin||Cherry Hill, NJ||Cherry Hill High School East||Classical Music, 2023|
|Britney Simbana-J||Baltimore, MD||George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology||Photography, 2023|
|Ezekiel Sokoloff||Salt Lake City, UT||Homeschool||Classical Music, 2023|
|Sunidhi Srinivas||Royersford, PA||Spring-Ford High School||Voice, 2022|
|Ryder Thompson||Tigard, OR||Tigard Senior High School||Theater, 2023|
|Wyatt Thompson||Calabasas, CA||Viewpoint School||Film, 2023|
|Gavin Trotmore||Berkeley, CA||Berkeley High School||Design Arts, 2023|
|Margaret Tsai||Kaohsiung, Taiwan||Morrison Academy Kaohsiung||Design Arts, 2023|
|Ella Vaughn||Cincinnati, OH||Walnut Hills High School||Voice, 2023|
|Winston Verdult||San Juan Capistrano, CA||St. Margaret’s Episcopal School||Film, 2023|
|Caroline Vichot||Hillsborough, CA||Crystal Springs Uplands School||Film, 2023|
|Amy Wang||San Diego, CA||Westview High School||Writing, 2023|
|Ray Wang||Taipei, Taiwan||Taipei American School||Design Arts, 2023|
|Cole Willis||Dallas, TX||Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts||Film, 2023|
|Bayan Yunis||Fort Wayne, IN||Carroll High School||Photography, 2023|
|Paul Zenas||Los Angeles, CA||Los Angeles County High School for the Arts||Theater, 2023|
*Interviews available upon request
The U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts nominees are actors, dancers, singers, songwriters, classical musicians, photographers, filmmakers, visual artists, designers and writers. Once selected, the 2023 awardees will join a distinguished group of YoungArts and U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts alumni including Tony Award-nominated performer and choreographer Desmond Richardson; Los Angeles Music Center President Rachel S. Moore; novelist and National Book Award Finalist Allegra Goodman; Grammy Award-nominated violinist Jennifer Koh; BRAVO’s “Work of Art” winner Abdi Farah; OBIE Award-winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin; Tony Award-nominated choreographer and educator Camille A. Brown and RCA Records award-winning singer-songwriter and Grammy Award-nominated artist Chris Young.
The 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts will be announced in the coming months. For additional information, please visit: http://www.ed.gov/psp
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 YoungArts, which is the nominating agency for this honor. To be eligible for the YoungArts program, applicants must be 15–18 years old or in high school grades 10–12. To be further considered for a nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, applicants must be high school seniors and meet all of the U.S. Presidential Scholars requirements.
YoungArts award winners demonstrating excellence in the performing, visual or literary arts are selected annually through a blind adjudication process. This year, 702 YoungArts award winners were selected. In January, 128 Finalists from across the nation were invited to National YoungArts Week, where they participated in a week of intensive classes and workshops with internationally renowned artists, and will shared their work through performances, readings, exhibitions and screenings that were be open to the public.
During National YoungArts Week, eligible participants are further evaluated, award levels are determined, and nominations are made for that year’s U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts candidates. After a rigorous selection process, YoungArts nominates 60 candidates for an invitation to apply to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Finally, the Commission on Presidential Scholars selects 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts each year.
ABOUT U.S. PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLARS
In 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson to recognize and honor the nation’s top graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrated talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.
Scholars are selected annually by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by the President, based on academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, and writing ability. This year, about 5,000 candidates qualified for the 2022 program determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, or other partner recognition programs or YoungArts.
Since its inception, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored almost 8,000 of the nation’s high-performing students. U.S. Presidential Scholars are honored for their accomplishments during the National Recognition Program each June. To commemorate their achievement, the Scholars are awarded the Presidential Scholars Medallion.
The 161 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.
Established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison, YoungArts identifies exceptional young artists, amplifies their potential, and invests in their lifelong creative freedom. YoungArts provides space, funding, mentorship, professional development and community throughout artists’ careers. Entrance into this prestigious organization starts with a highly competitive application for talented artists ages 15–18, or grades 10–12, in the United States that is judged by esteemed discipline-specific panels of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process.