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14 Indian Americans Named 2012 Presidential Scholars

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Rakesh Goli
  • United States

    Fourteen Indian American students were named 2012 Presidential Scholars May 2, among 141 high school seniors recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for their accomplishments in academics or the arts.

    "Honoring Presidential Scholars is an important celebration of students showing the dedication, creativity and ambition to become future leaders," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. "As national, state and local leaders work side by side with principals, teachers, and parents to make our schools better, we can learn from the students all around us whose hard work and accomplishments embody the kind of excellence we want every child to achieve.”

    The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by President Obama, selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Of the three million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 3,300 candidates qualified for the 2012 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations made by Chief State School Officers or the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts nationwide YoungArts™ competition.

    The 2012 Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large and 20 Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

    The 2012 ceremony will be held June 16, when each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion.

    The Indian American Presidential Scholars named this year, listed by state, are: 

    Alabama: Rakesh Goli of The Altamont School in Birmingham.

    Maryland: Amna H. Hashmi, The Bryn Mawr School, Cockeysville. 

    Massachusetts: Akshat Shekhar, The Roxbury Latin School, West Roxbury.

    Michigan: Siddhartha G. Jena, International Academy, Bloomfield Hills.

    New Hampshire: Anupa Murali, Bishop Brady High School, Concord. 

    New Jersey: Priyanka Goyal, Watchung Hills Regional High School, Warren.

    North Carolina: Indira Puri, Durham Academy Upper School, Chapel Hill.

    Oregon: Nishant B. Karandikar, Southridge High School, Beaverton; and Pratyusa Mukherjee, Westview High School, Portland. 

    Virginia: Sameer M. Sarkar, Maggie L. Walker Governor's School, Glen Allen; and Priya Krishnan, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology, McLean. 

    Washington: Monisha Gulabani, Eastlake High School, Sammamish. 

    West Virginia: Swetha K. Doppalapudi, Morgantown High School, Morgantown. 

    Wisconsin: Suman Gunasekaran, James Madison Memorial High School, Madison.

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