ST. CHARLES – St. Charles North High School senior Laura Z. Fang has been named one of more than 4,500 candidates in the 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.
She is the daughter of Xiaojing Zhang and Jian-yun Fang. The candidates were selected from nearly 3.6 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in 2019. Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 54th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors.
A panel of educators will review these submissions and select 600 semifinalists in early April. The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the president, will select the finalists and the U.S. Department of Education will announce the scholars in May.
Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by a presidential executive to recognize some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership, and service to school and community.
The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students demonstrating exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was expanded once again to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical fields.
Annually, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from among that year’s senior class, representing excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth. All scholars are invited to Washington, D.C., in June for the National Recognition Program, featuring various events and enrichment activities and culminating in the presentation of the Presidential Scholars medallion during a White House-sponsored ceremony.