Our Own U.S. Presidential Scholars Nominee
By Jelena M.
This U.S. program, begun in 1964, recognizes some of the top students in the country, including Remy Ives.
Did you ever expect to be recognized for the U.S. Presidential Scholars program?
– No, I didn’t. I actually did not know this program existed until my counselor sent me a WebMail letting me know that my school nominated me to apply. If it wasn’t for that WebMail, none of this would have happened.
What kind of volunteer work or extracurricular programs have you done before?
– I have done over 130 hours of volunteer work. I have volunteered at two bookstores and a thrift store. I have volunteered for Cooking with Kids and Movie Night at a local preschool, as well as Vacation Bible School at a local church. I’ve also been a volunteer on two La Canada Rose Parade Floats. I have done many extracurricular activities. I sing and write songs. I taught myself how to play the guitar. I am a hip-hop dancer and I am currently a Zumba instructor-in-training. I was in West Side Story the musical. I have my own Beauty, Fashion, and Lifestyle blog. I also participated in a local writing contest where I won First Place for Student Prose.
Do you think that you will be chosen to go to Washington?
– There is no guideline used to choose people to be a semi-finalist and a finalist. I don’t know what they are looking for. I really hope I am what they are looking for. They say that hope springs eternal!
If you are picked for the program, what do you look forward to the most while in Washington?
– Everything! I’ve never been on a plane before so the trip to Washington would be exciting in and of itself. I would also look for to the ceremony when they hand the medallions.
How did your family react when they found out?
– My mom was absolutely thrilled when we found out I was chosen as a candidate! We originally found out that I was a candidate online. When we received the letter in the mail, we took a billion pictures of me opening it up!
If you could create one program like the U.S. Presidential Scholars program, what would it be, and how could one be selected?
– The US Presidential Scholars program chooses the majority of their candidates based upon students with the best SAT scores in their state. If I were to create a program, I would base the candidacy and overall selection on outstanding scholarship. I believe there is a lot more to a person than their SAT score. The SAT score is a score you receive based upon one test. Individual situation circumstances, great grades, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, and academic activities are more important in my opinion. They show who the student is as a whole. My program would essentially mimic the US Presidential Scholars program; however, SAT scores would not be the main deciding factor for the majority to become a candidate. There would be other requirements to get students to that step and beyond.