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Two high school students from northern West Virginia are named 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars

Two high school students from northern West Virginia are named 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two West Virginia high school students have been named 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars.

Of the 161 high school students recognized as Presidential Scholars, the two from West Virginia are Lauren Jiayi Shen of Morgantown High School and Grant Carter Kenamond of Wheeling Park High School.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced the Presidential Scholars on Thursday. The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects these scholars annually based on their academic success, including excellence in arts and technical education, written essays, school evaluations, transcripts and even community involvement and leadership.

“The 161 high school students selected for the 60th Anniversary of the U.S. Presidential Scholars represent our nation’s best schools and inspire hope for this country’s bright future,” Cardona said. “On behalf of President Biden, I am pleased to celebrate their achievements and encourage these scholars to continue aiming high, lifting others and embracing opportunities to lead.”

The Presidential Scholars consist of two students from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and American families living abroad. There are also 15 students at large, 20 scholars in the arts, and 20 scholars in vocational and technical education.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin also congratulated the two students.

“Being recognized by the Presidential Scholars is an incredible achievement for high school students, and Lauren and Grant have proven to be outstanding representatives of the Mountain State,” said Senator Manchin. “These students have earned this prestigious award through their dedication and hard work, both in their academics and in their communities. Gayle and I congratulate Lauren and Grant and their families on their selection as Presidential Scholars and for their remarkable academic and extracurricular achievements. Young people like these two are the future of West Virginia and are a wonderful example for us all.”

This year, 3.7 million students are expected to graduate from high school. Just over 5,700 candidates qualified for the 2024 awards.

“West Virginia students are world-class scholars, and Lauren and Grant are exceptional ambassadors for our state,” said State Superintendent Michele L. Blatt. “These students exemplify scientific achievement, excellence and an inspiring commitment to social responsibility. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”

Since its founding in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 8,200 students across the country for their achievements in the classroom and in the community.

The entire Presidential Scholars Class of 2024 will be recognized in an online recognition program scheduled for this summer.