Highest Honor Bestowed to Talented High School Seniors from 23 States and Representing 10 Artistic Disciplines

MIAMI, FL (January 20, 2022)YoungArts announced today the nominees for the 2022 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 23 states and 10 artistic disciplines, are all YoungArts award winners. The students have been nominated to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program following the first week of National YoungArts Week+, the virtual adaptation of the organization’s annual signature program, National YoungArts Week. Open to YoungArts award winners at the Finalist level, 2022 National YoungArts Week+ included virtual classes and workshops during which the artists were further evaluated for nomination to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. From January 29 to February 4, National YoungArts Week+ programming continues with streamed performances, writers’ readings, film screenings and an online exhibition, allowing audiences across the country 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 Lauren Snelling, Artistic Director. “These artists have navigated the challenges of the past year with grace, creativity and dedication to their craft. It gives us hope to see how these young artists have channeled the uncertainty we have all felt into their work. We are all excited to watch and support these artists as they grow and evolve on their artistic journeys.”

The 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts nominees are:

NameHometown City, StateSchoolYoungArts Winner Year and Discipline
Madeline AlemiEgg Harbor Township, NJChartertech High SchoolTheater, 2022
Leah AmoryNew York, NYFiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing ArtsClassical Music, 2021
Ayana AskewNorfolk, VABooker T. Washington Senior High SchoolWriting, 2022
Andrew BakunBeaverton, ORMountainside High SchoolTheater, 2022
Caroline BerthinMiami, FLDesign and Architecture Senior High SchoolVisual Arts, 2022
Joshua BrownInterlochen, MIInterlochen Arts AcademyTheater, 2022
Quoc BuiInterlochen, MIInterlochen Arts AcademyVisual Arts, 2021
Christian BurseFrisco, TXBooker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual ArtsDance, 2021
Eva Soryn CallPeachtree City, GAMcIntosh High SchoolDesign Arts, 2021
Madeleine CaseWoodland Hills, CAViewpoint SchoolWriting, 2022
Emmy CheungIrvine, CAOrange County School of the ArtsDance, 2022
Glenn ChoeCedar Park, TXVista Ridge High SchoolClassical Music, 2022
Samuel CorreaHollywood, FLWest Broward High SchoolFilm, 2022
William CumminsMansfield, OHHomeschoolClassical Music, 2022
Youjaye DanielsRock Hill, SCSouth Carolina Governor’s school for the Arts and HumanitiesWriting, 2022
Saman de SilvaLos Altos Hills, CAHenry M. Gunn Senior High SchoolVoice, 2022
Ryan Diaz-RousselotMiami, FLDesign Architecture Senior HighFilm, 2022
Ava DittoSan Antonio, TXLegacy of Educational Excellence High SchoolFilm, 2022
Ryan EvansWentzville, MOWentzville Holt High SchoolDance, 2022
Jamie Felix-TollLos Angeles, CAWaverly SchoolVoice, 2022
Zoe GoldembergMiami Beach, FLDesign and Architecture Senior High SchoolDesign Arts, 2022
Grace GraminsBronxville, NYBronxville High SchoolVoice, 2022
Isabella GueckGrand Prairie, TXGrand Prairie Fine Arts AcademyVoice, 2022
Kaila HarunzadeLos Angeles, CABrentwood SchoolPhotography, 2022
Sara HommaSan Antonio, TXTMI EpiscopalVisual Arts, 2022
Youning JiangIrvine, CAOrange County School of the ArtsFilm, 2022
Anya JiménezBrooklyn, NYProfessional Performing Arts SchoolWriting, 2022
Grace KasteSeattle, WARoosevelt High SchoolJazz, 2022
Jessica KodsiOoltewah, TNInterlochen Arts AcademyVoice, 2022
Maya KoenigArlington, VAWashington-Liberty High SchoolFilm, 2022
Stella LeiPaoli, PAConestoga High SchoolWriting, 2022
Chelsie LimCresskill, NJAcademy of the Holy AngelsClassical Music, 2021
Arayah LyteCountry Club Hills, ILThe Chicago Academy for the ArtsDance, 2022
Jordin MacKenzieLeawood, KSBlue Valley North High SchoolVoice, 2022
Tomek MarczewskiDallas, TXThe St. Mark’s School of TexasDesign Arts, 2022
Christian MoodyColumbia, SCSouth Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and HumanitiesTheater, 2022
Shikta MukherjeeEdison, NJJohn P. Stevens High SchoolVoice, 2022
Chinonye OmeirondiCypress, CACypress High SchoolWriting, 2022
Jaya ParkerTrotwood, OHStivers School for the ArtsPhotography, 2022
Eleanor PimentelMoscow, IDMoscow High SchoolDesign Arts, 2022
Ella ReaughLucas, TXLovejoy High SchoolVisual Arts, 2022
Jayden RobinsonMontgomery, ALBooker T. Washington Magnet High SchoolPhotography, 2022
Rodrigo Rodriguez HernandezKissimmee, FLOsceola County School for the ArtsClassical Music, 2022
Isabelle RogandoArlington, VAThomas Jefferson High School for Science and TechnologyWriting, 2022
Eason RytterNew York, NYFiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing ArtsTheater, 2022
Anu SaharBaltimore, MDBaltimore School of the ArtsTheater, 2022
Maeve SheehanStaten Island, NYStaten Island Technical High SchoolFilm, 2022
Malavika SinghSalt Lake City, UTWest High SchoolDance, 2022
Sam SongCampbell, CAWestmont High SchoolVoice, 2022
Reva SrivastavaFremont, CAMission San Jose High SchoolDance, 2022
Megan StuartMinneapolis, MNOak Meadow SchoolDance, 2022
Miye SuginoLa Canada Flintridge, CALa Canada High SchoolVisual Arts, 2022
Grace TapiaWoodhaven, NYRepertory Company High School for Theatre ArtsWriting, 2022
Benjamin TuckerTarzana, CALos Angeles County High School for the ArtsFilm, 2022
Madison UphoffMadison, WIMadison West High SchoolTheater, 2020
Eric WangSan Jose, CAValley Christian High SchoolClassical Music, 2020
Natalie WangIrvine, CAStanford Online High SchoolWriting, 2022
Kailey WorontsoffWellington, FLAlexander W. Dreyfoos School of the ArtsDance, 2020
Sean YuRye, NYRye High SchoolClassical Music, 2022
Adrian ZaragozaDavis, CADavis Senior High SchoolClassical Music, 2022

* Interviews can be facilitated upon request.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts nominees are actors, dancers, singers, songwriters, classical musicians, jazz musicians, photographers, filmmakers, visual artists, designers and writers. Once selected, the 2022 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 2022 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, 720 YoungArts award winners were selected. In January, 157 Finalists from across the nation were invited to National YoungArts Week+, where they participated in a week of intensive virtual classes and workshops with internationally renowned artists, and will share their work through virtual performances, readings, exhibitions and screenings that will 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 2022 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.

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