5 Illinois students named 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars

Five Illinois students, including from Buffalo Grove, Palatine and Naperville, are among 161 high school seniors named 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars.

The students were recognized for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

Among them are Pradyumn M. Bonu of Buffalo Grove, Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire; Sai Peddainti of Naperville, Waubonsie Valley High School, Aurora; and Zuyu Liu of Palatine, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Aurora.

“The 161 high school seniors selected for the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Presidential Scholars represent the best of our nation’s schools and inspire hope in the bright future of this country,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a news release. “On behalf of President (joe) Biden, I am delighted to celebrate their accomplishments, and encourage these scholars to continue to aim high, lift up others, and embrace opportunities to lead.”

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on academic success, excellence in the arts and technical education, through essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership.

Of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,700 candidates qualified for the 2024 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by chief state school officers, other partner recognition organizations and YoungArts, the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists.

The 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars comprise two students from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education.

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 8,200 of the nation’s top-performing students. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program again was extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.

Presidential scholars will be honored this summer with an online recognition program.

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