20 of the Nation’s Most Talented Artists, All YoungArts Award Winners, Receive High Honor Bestowed by the President of the United States
MIAMI, FL (May 10, 2023) –YoungArts congratulates the 59th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, with special acknowledgement 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 2024 YoungArts competition will open on June 6, 2023 at youngarts.org/competition.
Clive Chang, President of YoungArts, said, “The 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts represent the next generation of storytellers and changemakers in our country, exemplifying both academic excellence and artistic ingenuity spanning the visual, literary, and performing arts. YoungArts is incredibly proud to celebrate these young artists today and to amplify their unique voices as they grow to become our nation’s most influential cultural ambassadors.”
“U.S. Presidential Scholars have always represented the future of our country and the bright promise it holds. I want each of these remarkable students to know: your passion and intellect, pursuit of excellence, and spirit of service are exactly what our country needs,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “On behalf of President Biden, I am delighted to join your family, friends, and communities in celebrating your accomplishments. Aim high, share your talents, and continue embracing opportunities to lead as your exciting future unfolds.”
The 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts are:
*Interviews can be facilitated, and images are available upon request.
|Name||Hometown City, State||School||YoungArts Winner Discipline, Year|
|Fallon Dern||Studio City, CA||Harvard-Westlake School||Film, 2023|
|Zoe Dorado||Castro Valley, CA||Castro Valley High School||Writing, 2023|
|Raisa Effress||Studio City, CA||Harvard-Westlake School||Photography, 2022|
|Zakiriya Gladney||Tucson, AZ||University High School||Photography, 2023|
|Georgia Greene||Shelby, NC||Cleveland Innovation Academy||Dance, 2023|
|Vibha Janakiraman||West Chester, PA||PA Leadership Charter School||Classical Music, 2022|
|Mira Kim||Alexandria, VA||Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology||Classical Music, 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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Gavin Trotmore||Berkeley, CA||Berkeley High 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|
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, 138 Finalists from across the nation were invited to National YoungArts Week in Miami, where they participated in a week of classes and workshops with internationally renowned artists.
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 2023 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 over 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.
YoungArts was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify exceptional young artists, amplify their potential, and invest in their 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.