By: CultureOwl
Performing Arts

National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) announced the 56th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars! 20 of the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts received special acknowledgement. They are YoungArts award winners and were nominated for the honor by YoungArts.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars award—one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic excellence, leadership qualities and community service—is presented on behalf of the President of the United States and honors up to 161 graduating high school seniors of high potential each year.

Sarah Arison, Chair of National YoungArts Foundation, said, “Now, more than ever, it is important that we as a country celebrate the hope and promise of the next generation of great architects and designers, writers and poets, and visual and performing artists. YoungArts is honored to continue to support and nominate the nation’s most talented artists for the Presidential Scholars program. We congratulate all of the winners and look forward to continuing to offer our support throughout their artistic journeys.”

“It is my privilege to congratulate the Presidential Scholars Class of 2020 on their outstanding academic achievement, community service, and leadership,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “These exemplary young people have excelled inside the classroom and out. And, while they are facing unprecedented challenges as they graduate from high school into a world that looks much different than it did just a few months ago, their determination, resilience, and commitment to excellence will serve them well as they pursue their next steps.”

Anthony Arya - 2020, Voice

Olivia Bigtree - 2020, Visual Arts

Dusan Brown - 2020, Film

Isabella Cho - 2020, Writing

Caitlin Chung - 2020, Photography

Sage Croft - 2020, Film

Laura Futamura - 2020, Classical Music

Meagan Maureen Hipsky - 2020, Classical Music

Dante Jervaise Kirkman - 2019, Writing

Nouhoum Koita - 2020, Dance

Ryan McCord - 2020, Photography

Theodore Louis Nissen - 2020, Film

Mia Sarah Palomba - 2019, Design Arts

Anoush Pogossian - 2018, Classical Music

Benjamin Tanchoco Rossen - 2018, Classical Music

Mallorie Sievert - 2020, Theater

Pranav Tadikonda - 2019, Dance

Nicholas Michael Dean Turgeon - 2020, Visual Arts

Jieyan Wang - 2020, Writing

Maggie A. Wilkinson - 2019, Writing

The first step to becoming a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts is to apply to the National YoungArts Foundation’s annual competition. Applicants must be between the ages of 15–18 or in high school grades 10–12. To be further considered for nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar by the organization, applicants must be high school seniors and meet all of the U.S. Presidential Scholars requirements. Students who would like to be considered for Presidential Scholars in the Arts in the future must first apply to the YoungArts program. Applications open on June 2, 2020 at

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