Irvington High School senior Miguel Anderson is being considered for one of the nation’s top student honors, the United States Presidential Scholars Program. The 17-year-old is among 3,000 candidates in the country to be selected by the U.S. Department of Education.
“I am excited to be a candidate,” said Anderson. “The odds are slim, but I am going to try my hardest. They will select the best of the best, and I hope to be one of them.”
The highly competitive program chooses candidates based on their academic and artistic success, leadership record and community involvement. Like the college application process, the application process for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is also intensive and requires the submission of transcripts, a list of school and outside activities, sports and community involvement and essays, including one that is five pages long.
The program was started in 1964 by executive order of the president to acknowledge the nation’s most accomplished high school seniors. The majority of students are selected based on their academic achievements, while about 20 other students are chosen for their artistic abilities in visual arts, performing arts or creative writing.
The 3,000 candidates will be narrowed down to 560 semifinalists, with the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars making their final selections in April. Only 141 students are chosen to be U.S. Presidential Scholars annually.
Anderson was selected for his perfect ACT score of 36— a score that only 1,200 of the 1.2 million who take the ACTs each year achieve, which is less than one percent.
“That score put me into the competition,” said Anderson
The Irvington School District is extremely proud of the 17-year-old’s accomplishments.
“He is an outstanding student who has performed a number of community service endeavors including service trips to Nicaragua,” said Irvington Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kristopher Harrison.
Anderson, a fluent Spanish speaker, served as a translator during his service trip. He also spends much of his free time tutoring students. Anderson is a passionate teacher likes to help others learn.
“It felt really good to know I was helping two different cultures communicate,” said Anderson.