Thursday, May 13, 2021

Three North Carolina Students Named 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars

Three North Carolina high school seniors were named U.S. Presidential Scholars today.
Raleigh, NC
May 13, 2021

Three North Carolina high school seniors were named U.S. Presidential Scholars today, among 161 recipients recognized nationally for their accomplishments in academics, the arts and career and technical education fields.

The North Carolina scholars are:

  • Pratyush Seshadri of Cary, a senior at Raleigh Charter High School.
  • Nrithya P. Renganathan of Cary, a senior at the North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics, Durham.
  • Ijay Narang of Charlotte, a senior at Ardrey Kell High School, Charlotte.

“The 2021 Presidential Scholars represent extraordinary achievements for our extraordinary times,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in announcing the 57th class of scholars. “I am delighted to join President Biden in saluting these outstanding young people for their achievements, service, character and continued pursuit of excellence.”

North Carolina State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt congratulated the three students, and their families, for their achievements.

“They’ve all done amazing things during their time in school, and especially during a trying year for all North Carolinians, they continued to demonstrate excellence,” Truitt said. “They have much to be proud of, and they represent the best of North Carolina’s youth.”

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 6,000 candidates qualified for the 2021 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 the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ program.

As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman 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 7,600 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.

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2021 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer.

A complete list of 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars is also available at

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