WEST CHESTER TWP. — One of this year’s national presidential scholar winners is a Butler County high school student.
And one of Ohio’s other two winners for the prestigious honor comes from Warren County.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recently announced the 59th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, recognizing 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.
Jay Patel of Butler Tech’s Bioscience Center, who earlier this month was chosen as a finalist among 5,000 high school candidates across America, is one of those honorees.
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 a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership, according to federal education officials.
Of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,000 candidates qualified for the 2023 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 YoungArts, the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists.
“I was literally walking up the stairs at the Bioscience Center and I saw an email saying congratulations. I ran to my counselor meeting and we were all jumping and hugging,” said Patel, who is one of about two dozen winners in the Career and Technical Education category of the scholar award.
By taking 16-plus college classes and two capstone courses, Patel will graduate from high school with an associate’s degree in science and a phlebotomy technician certification.
The other Ohio-area winner is Sanjana Velu of Mason High School.
Butler Tech officials said Patel is consistently a top-performing student in his classes, maintaining a 4.78 GPA despite working at his family business and being actively involved in extracurriculars at his home high school of Lakota West.
As a junior, Patel was selected for a highly competitive program that allows high school students to learn directly from healthcare professionals in the hospital setting. He was also elected U.S. High School Team Leader for the United Planet Global Health Program – an eco-activism initiative that pairs students from across the United States with students in Baghdad.
Patel, who later this month will earn both his high school and a 2-year college associate degree, is headed to the University of Cincinnati in the fall to study in the school’s medical science program and go on to medical school.