By Amy Rosenzweig
Hard work and dedication were truly the key to success for seniors Jorge Ledesma and Jackie Napolitano, after both receiving nominations for the U.S Presidential Scholars Program.
This prestigious honor seeks out one male and one female from each state to be recognized by the President for excellent academic achievement and is known as “one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students,” according to ed.gov. Both Napolitano and Ledesma were nominated for this national scholarship;additionally, Ledesma has moved on to be a semifinalist.
Students are required to have one of the top ACT or SAT scores among students of one’s gender in a given state according to Napolitano.
On being nominated, Ledesma said, “Since I had already been accepted into college, it came as a very fortunate continuation of real bliss.”
Principal Mr. Peter Renwick added that he is thrilled that the students have been nominated and feels that they are a great representation of WHS.
Ledesma will be attending Harvard University to study government and English, while Napolitano will be attending Carnegie Mellon University for Mechanical Engineering.
Both students offered their insight about academic success.Ledesma said: “Find your passions and live them as fully as you can. If you want to actually make this place better because it stirs in you some deeper sense of humanity, then you are doing the right thing.”
Added Napolitano, “You cannot know the endless possibilities if you do not allow it the proper environment to grow and flourish.” The two nominees also reminisced on their four years at WHS as they prepare to say goodbye.
Ledesma said, “High school for me has been an important test of my resolve and imagination, but I can say that I have no regrets.”
Napolitano added, “looking back on my high school experience, I feel that I made the most of what I personally wanted to accomplish.”
The final selection for the U.S Presidential Scholars Program will take place next month.