Three seniors from vocational technical high schools in Bergen and Monmouth counties were among the five New Jersey students named 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars award—one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic excellence, leadership qualities and community service—is presented on behalf of the President of the United States and honors up to 161 graduating high school seniors of high potential each year.
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.
This year, more than 5,300 candidates qualified for the 2020 program determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams, through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, partner recognition organizations and the National YoungArts Foundation’s nationwide YoungArts™ competition.
The three seniors from New Jersey vocational technical schools are:
- Laura Futamura of Middletown, who attends High Technology High School in Lincroft, which is run by the Monmouth County Vocational School District, was recognized as U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
- Dong Jun Lee of Fort Lee, who attends Bergen County Technical High School, which is operated by the Bergen County Technical Schools District, was recognized as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education.
- Jason Ping of Fort Lee, who attends the Academy for the Advancement of Science & Technology, part of Bergen County Academies, also run by the Bergen County Technical School District, was recognized as a U.S Presidential Scholar.
Since its inception, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 7,600 of the nation’s high-performing students. The 161 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, up to 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and up to 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.