White Plains High School Senior Christopher Cardenas has been nominated for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program by State Education Department Interim Commissioner Betty A. Rosa.
The Presidential Scholar recognition is one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for high school students and is awarded after a very selective process. Cardenas is one of just 20 students from New York to be nominated as a candidate, and he now moves up in the selection process.
“Christopher is an amazing young man,” said White Plains High School Principal Emerly Martinez. “He has overcome many challenges, while managing advanced coursework, participating in extracurriculars, and working to help his parents. He handles everything with grace at such high levels, and we expect great things from him.”
State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins recommended Cardenas for the program.
“When I learned what he has accomplished—as a honor student with AP classes, as the Senior Class Co-President, varsity soccer player, Medicine Club President, math team member and orchestra musician—all while working to help his parents, I knew this first generation college student was deserving of this honor. Christopher plans to be a doctor, an achievement I am confident he can reach,” Stewart-Cousins said. “And I hope he comes back to Westchester to practice!”
Candidate selection by Rosa was based on outstanding scholarship, heavy workload, and family responsibilities, overcoming challenges, community and school involvement, leadership and character, among others.
In January, the U.S. the Department of Education will invite students from among those across the country who were previously nominated by their State’s Chief School Officer based on a student’s scores on the SAT or ACT. Semifinalists will then be notified in mid-April and Scholars will be notified in May.
Students ultimately selected by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars will go to Washington in June to meet national and international figures, including government officials, authors, educators, musicians, etc. and will attend ceremonies and recitals, visit museums and forge friendships with other recipients from around the country. Students will then receive the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House.