Six New York Students Named 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars

By Dept. Of Education

Photos: Dept. OF Education\Wikimedia Commons

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona Thursday announced the 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars, recognizing 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

The New York scholars include (hometown, scholar, school, location):

• NY – Clay – Thomas A. Wills II, Cicero-No Syracuse High School, Cicero, New York.

• NY – Elmont – Detola D. Badmus, Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts, New York, New York. (Presidential Scholar in the Arts)

• NY – Garden City – Elaine Wang, Garden City Senior High School, Garden City, New York.

• NY – Jericho – Natasha Kulviwat, Jericho Senior High School, Jericho, New York.

• NY – New York – Sheldon Y. Liu, Stuyvesant High School, New York, New York.

• NY – North Woodmere – Ariana Amanda Watson, Lawrence High School, Cedarhurst, New York. (Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education)

“The 161 high school seniors selected for the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Presidential Scholars represent the best of our nation’s schools and inspire hope in the bright future of this country,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “On behalf of President Biden, I am delighted to celebrate their accomplishments, and encourage these scholars to continue to aim high, lift up others, and embrace opportunities to lead.”

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on academic success, excellence in the arts and in technical education, through essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership.

Of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,700 candidates qualified for the 2024 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by chief state school officers, other partner recognition organizations and YoungArts, the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists.

As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of two students from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education.

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 8,200 of the nation’s top-performing students. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. 2024 is the program’s 60th anniversary.

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2024 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program.

A complete list of 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars follows and is also available at

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