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Six MHS Seniors are Presidential Scholar Candidates

Brannon Cho, Daniel Dembner, Panya Gupta, Alec Tabatchnik, Saachi Gupta, Michael Yuan

MILLBURN, NJ - Six Millburn High School students, Brannon Cho, Daniel Dembner, Panya Gupta, Saachi Gupta, Alec Tabatchnik and Michael Yuan have been selected as candidates for the prestigious U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The Scholars Program recognizes and honors some of the nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Brannon Cho is a candidate for Presidential Scholar in the Arts.

Approximately 3,000 candidates nationwide are identified based on exceptional scores on either the SAT or the ACT college admission test. Candidates must then submit an application along with essays, recommendations and transcripts to be selected as one of approximately 560 semifinalists which will be announced in mid-April. The Commission on Presidential Scholars then reviews the applications of all semifinalists based on the same criteria used by the initial review committee. The Commission announces the selection of up to 121 academic scholars and up to 20 arts scholars in May.

The scholars (along with one teacher who the Scholars select as a great influence) are honored for their accomplishments during National Recognition Week, held in June in Washington, D.C. During their expense-paid trip, they meet government officials, educators, authors, scientists, and other accomplished people and are awarded Presidential Scholars Medallion medallions at a White House ceremony.

While the majority of Scholars are selected on the basis of broad academic achievement, approximately twenty additional students are selected on the basis of their academic and artistic scholarship in the visual arts, the performing arts, or creative writing. Cho is one of approximately 60 students nominated from over 6,500 participants in the annual YoungArts competition conducted by the National YoungArts Foundation. Of these, up to 20 will be selected as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

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The arts candidates were selected for their exceptional performance in the disciplines of dance, film/video, instrumental music, jazz, voice, photography, theater, visual arts and creative writing. Further consideration will be based on students’ essays, self-assessments, descriptions of activities, school recommendations, and school transcripts. Cho is an award-winning cellist.

For over 48 years, this unique federal program has honored over 6,000 U.S. Presidential Scholars, who have demonstrated leadership, scholarship, and contribution to school and community.

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