SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Three Utah high school students are among the 59th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, as announced by the U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on Wednesday, May 10.

The three high school students include:

  • Michael Ogden Chen of Salt Lake City; Hillcrest High School
  • Priyanka Mathews of Salt Lake City; Hillcrest High School
  • Aaron Wang of Salt Lake City; Skyline High School

Established in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was created by executive order of the president to honor accomplished graduating high school students in the country. Every year, 161 students are chosen as Presidential Scholars, and so far, the program has honored over 8,000 of the country’s most distinguished students.

There are three ways high school seniors can be picked as U.S. Presidential Scholars: through broader academic achievement; based on their achievement in visual arts, creative writing or performing arts; as well as through their accomplishment in the career and technical education fields.

The 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and woman from every 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad. Additionally, 15 more will be chosen at large, and that is not including the 20 scholars in the arts and another 20 scholars in career and technical education.

See a complete list of scholars on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.