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:

NameHometown City, StateSchoolYoungArts Winner Year, Discipline
Calvin AlexanderShreveport, LACaddo Parish Magnet High SchoolClassical Music, 2023
Joshua ArmstrongSpring Hill, FLPasco eSchoolDance, 2023
Catrielle BarnettGolden Valley, MNPerpich Center for Arts EducationDesign Arts, 2023
Mariae BroomeInterlochen, MIInterlochen Arts AcademyVoice, 2023
Lucas BuckwellMiami, FLNew World School of the ArtsDesign Arts, 2023
Chloë CheersNew York, NYFiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing ArtsTheater, 2023
Mia Grace DavisSan Diego, CAAcademy Our Lady of PeaceWriting, 2023
Fallon DernStudio City, CAHarvard-Westlake SchoolFilm, 2023
Zoe DoradoCastro Valley, CACastro Valley High SchoolWriting, 2023
Kennedy EagletonDallas, TXBooker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual ArtsWriting, 2023
Ella EdmundsonDallas, TXBooker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual ArtsTheater, 2023
Raisa EffressStudio City, CAHarvard-Westlake SchoolPhotography, 2022
Similolu FadelLucas, TXLovejoy High SchoolVisual Arts, 2023
Samuel FineOrlando, FLFlorida Virtual SchoolDance, 2023
Zakiriya GladneyTucson, AZUniversity High SchoolPhotography, 2023
Georgia GreeneShelby, NCCleveland Innovation AcademyDance, 2023
Ulysses HillLos Angeles, CACathedral High SchoolWriting, 2023
Vibha JanakiramanWest Chester, PALegacy of Educational Excellence High SchoolClassical Music, 2022
Grey JensenSalt Lake City, UTSkyline High SchoolPhotography, 2023
Brianna KeingattiColumbia, MOColumbia-Rock Bridge Senior High SchoolDance, 2023
Elizabeth KellerInterlochen, MIInterlochen Arts AcademyWriting, 2023
Joel KimSaratoga, CASaratoga High SchoolClassical Music, 2023
Mira KimAlexandria, VAThomas Jefferson High School for Science and TechnologyClassical Music, 2023
Yuri LeeEastchester, NYTuckahoe High SchoolClassical Music, 2023
Audrey LimWallingford, CTChoate Rosemary HallWriting, 2023
Daniel LiuOrlando, FLLake Highland Preparatory SchoolWriting, 2023
Katherine LiuWellesley, MAWellesley High SchoolClassical Music, 2022
Alejandro LombardStudio City, CAHarvard-Westlake SchoolFilm, 2023
Miranda LuSan Jose, CALeland High SchoolVisual Arts, 2023
Dalila LugoMiami, FLNew World School of the ArtsVoice, 2023
Yusheng LuoAlhambra, CAAlhambra High SchoolWriting, 2023
Caroline McAleaveyMilford, CTAcademy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton HallDance, 2023
Khalil McknightNew Orleans, LANew Orleans Center for Creative ArtsVisual Arts, 2023
Lauren MeiSanta Ana, CAOrange County School of the ArtsTheater, 2022
Fiorela MiriaNew York, NYFiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing ArtsVoice, 2023
Emily MorelandBoca Raton, FLFlorida Atlantic University High SchoolTheater, 2023
Esmé NixLos Angeles, CALos Angeles County High School for the ArtsFilm, 2023
Sophia PaffenbackBaltimore, MDGeorge Washington Carver Center for Arts and TechnologyVoice, 2023
Ashley ParkSanta Ana, CAOrange County School of the ArtsWriting, 2023
Zariyah PerryDallas, TXBooker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual ArtsTheater, 2023
George PorteousNew York, NYDalton SchoolTheater, 2023
Ava PrestonSolon, OHSolon High SchoolVoice, 2023
Sophia RabinNewport Beach, CACorona Del Mar High SchoolVoice, 2023
Cassidy ReigelBaltimore, MDBaltimore School of the ArtsDance, 2023
Christopher ShinCherry Hill, NJCherry Hill High School EastClassical Music, 2023
Britney Simbana-JBaltimore, MDGeorge Washington Carver Center for Arts and TechnologyPhotography, 2023
Ezekiel SokoloffSalt Lake City, UTHomeschoolClassical Music, 2023
Sunidhi SrinivasRoyersford, PASpring-Ford High SchoolVoice, 2022
Ryder ThompsonTigard, ORTigard Senior High SchoolTheater, 2023
Wyatt ThompsonCalabasas, CAViewpoint SchoolFilm, 2023
Gavin TrotmoreBerkeley, CABerkeley High SchoolDesign Arts, 2023
Margaret TsaiKaohsiung, TaiwanMorrison Academy KaohsiungDesign Arts, 2023
Ella VaughnCincinnati, OHWalnut Hills High SchoolVoice, 2023
Winston VerdultSan Juan Capistrano, CASt. Margaret’s Episcopal SchoolFilm, 2023
Caroline VichotHillsborough, CACrystal Springs Uplands SchoolFilm, 2023
Amy WangSan Diego, CAWestview High SchoolWriting, 2023
Ray WangTaipei, TaiwanTaipei American SchoolDesign Arts, 2023
Cole WillisDallas, TXBooker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual ArtsFilm, 2023
Bayan YunisFort Wayne, INCarroll High SchoolPhotography, 2023
Paul ZenasLos Angeles, CALos Angeles County High School for the ArtsTheater, 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

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. 


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.

About YoungArts

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.

For more information, visit  youngarts.org, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter.

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