Last week, senior Utkarsh Priyam was named one of 625 semifinalists in the 2021 Presidential Scholars competition. These semifinalists were selected from 6,500 candidates in the competition, who were selected from 3.6 million graduating seniors. Priyam is one of 12 seniors who were selected as candidates in this year’s competition, which each year identifies students who have excelled in academics, the arts, and career and technical education. As part of their application, candidates submit materials including essays, transcripts and self-assessments. The Presidential Scholars program was created by the U.S. Department of Education in 1964 and is recognized as one of the highest honors U.S. high school students can receive.