PA Leadership is ecstatic to announce that two of our extremely hard-working and talented students have been chosen as the Pennsylvania nominees for the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts. Congratulations to USP students Audrey Emata and William McGregor, among the winners of the annual YoungArts competition.

Both set to graduate this spring and both classical musicians, Audrey Emata is a flutist and PALCS junior; William McGregor is a double bass player and PALCS senior.

Over 8,000 students per year apply to the national YoungArts program, and program winners are recognized as merit, honorable mention, and finalist winners. Audrey and William were among 171 students from ten creative and artistic disciplines across the country to be named YoungArts finalists, the highest category. Each finalist chosen was then invited to Miami for YoungArts week in January, where they were reevaluated by a panel of judges. The panel awarded both Audrey and William Level One Awards and nominated each of them for the the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts award. YoungArts is the sole nominating agency for this prestigious honor.

Only 60 students in the country are nominated for the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts award, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students demonstrating artistic and academic excellence. William and Audrey are the only nominees from Pennsylvania. We are delighted and proud that two PA Leadership students are recognized as the best representatives of the state!

Each of the 60 student nominees will next be reviewed by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars who will then select 20 graduating high school students who have demonstrated leadership, creativity, community service and outreach initiatives to receive this high honor. The 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts will then be invited to Washington D.C to join the other 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars from categories other than the arts: academic excellence as identified through standardized testing, and accomplishments in career and technical education fields. Each U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts will then receive a Presidential Medal at the White House and perform and exhibit at the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

Congratulations to Audrey and William for this high honor and all of their successes. We are so proud to have you represent PALCS! We will be featuring spotlight posts about Audrey and William in the next few days. Stay tuned to learn more about each of these talented students and their journeys to becoming Presidential Scholars in the Arts.