MIAMI, FL (May 13, 2021)National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) congratulates the 57th 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 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts must be YoungArts award winners. Applications for the 2022 YoungArts competition will open on June 22, 2021 at youngarts.org/apply.

Jewel Malone, Executive Director of National YoungArts Foundation, said, “We are thrilled to celebrate the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts who are among the leading young artists in the nation across the visual, literary and performing arts. These artists bring fresh voices, perspectives and talents to all that they do, and we look forward to continuing to support them throughout their careers and lives in the arts.”

The public will have the opportunity to experience the extraordinary artistry of the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts in June during a virtual performance event directed by Tony Award-nominated director, musician and actor Michael Arden (2001 YoungArts Winner in Theater and Voice & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts). Further details to be announced soon.

“The 2021 Presidential Scholars represent extraordinary achievements for our extraordinary times,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I am delighted to join President Biden in saluting these outstanding young people for their achievements, service, character and continued pursuit of excellence. Their examples make me proud and hopeful about the future. Honoring them can remind us all of the great potential in each new generation and renew our commitment to helping them achieve their dreams.”

The 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts are:

*Interviews can be facilitated and images are available upon request.

NameHometown City, StateSchoolYoungArts Winner Year and Discipline
Whitney BlueBoulder, COFairview High School2021, Photography
Maria CarpenterWenham, MAThe Governor’s Academy2020, Design Arts
Madelyn DietzSaint. Paul, MNInterlochen Arts Academy2021, Writing
Andrew HarrisConcord, MAMiddlesex School2021, Photography
Calvin HindsWayland, MIInterlochen Arts Academy2021, Voice
Grace HuhSan Jose, CALynbrook High School2021, Classical Music
Ramya IyerOmaha, NEWestside High School2020, Design Arts
Sarah Grace KimberlyFriendswood, TXKinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts2020, Voice
Arden LloydAmherst, MAAmherst-Pelham Regional High School2021, Voice
Jalynn McDuffeyMiami, FLCoral Reef Senior High School2021, Visual Arts
Allison ParkSherman Oaks, CAHarvard-Westlake School2021, Classical Music
Is PerlmanMiami Beach, FLDesign and Architecture Senior High School2021, Visual Arts
Arya PratapFremont, CASaint Francis High School2021, Dance
Stephen SavagePort St. Lucie, FLSavage Homeschool2021, Classical Music
Charlotte SedakaSherman Oaks, CAViewpoint School2021, Writing
Kasey ShaoCincinnati, OHWalnut Hills High School2020, Classical Music
Elyse ThomasMiami, FLSchool for Advanced Studies – Wolfson2021, Writing
Parker Van OstrandSacramento, CAC.K. McClatchy High School2021, Classical Music
Katherine VandermelCloster, NJBergen County Academies2021, Writing
Alora YoungBrentwood, TNHillsboro High School2021, 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 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. YoungArts applications open on June 22, 2021 at youngarts.org/apply.

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, more than 6,000 candidates qualified for the 2021 program determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams, through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, partner recognition organizations or the National YoungArts Foundation.

Since its inception, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 7,600 of the nation’s high performing students. The 161 2021 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, up to 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and up to 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.

ABOUT NATIONAL YOUNGARTS FOUNDATION

National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison. YoungArts identifies the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary and performing arts, and provides them with creative and professional development opportunities throughout their careers. Entrance into this prestigious organization starts with a highly competitive application process 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. All YoungArts award winners receive financial awards and the chance to learn from notable artists and mentors such as Debbie Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Frank Gehry, Wynton Marsalis, Salman Rushdie and Mickalene Thomas as well as past YoungArts award winners such as Daniel Arsham, Terence Blanchard, Camille A. Brown, Viola Davis, Allegra Goodman, Josh Groban, Judith Hill, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Andrew Rannells, Desmond Richardson and Hunter Schafer.

YoungArts award winners are further eligible for exclusive opportunities including: nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school seniors; a wide range of creative development support including fellowships and residencies and awards; professional development opportunities in partnership with major institutions nationwide; additional financial support; and access to YoungArts Post, a private, online portal for YoungArts artists to connect, share their work and discover new opportunities.

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