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Petal High School Senior Advances to Final Round of the 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars Competition

Ritchie Yang

April 28, 2022

PETAL, Miss. – Petal High School senior Ritchie Yang has been selected as one of 620 semifinalists in the country to advance to the final round of the 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars competition.

From nearly 3.7 million graduating high school seniors, over 5,000 students were identified as candidates for the program, and 620 semifinalists have been selected from across the country, forming the pool from which the 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be chosen.

“It is a great honor being named a Presidential Scholar semifinalist,” said Ritchie Yang. “Coming this far would not have been possible without the support from my teachers, encouragement from my friends, and ultimately, sacrifices from my family. This award shows my commitment to academic excellence, and I hope that others will see this award as a way for them, too, to be able to achieve their dreams by trying their very best,” Yang said.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the president, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.

“We are so Panther Proud of Ritchie’s selection as semifinalist,” said Dr. Matt Dillon, Petal School District superintendent. “This is a tremendous accomplishment that requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Ritchie has achieved many great milestones and is a shining example to others. The sky’s the limit for his future.”

If selected, Yang will be honored at the National Recognition Program in Washington, D.C. in June, where he will receive the U.S. Presidential Scholars Medallion to commemorate the achievement.

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