WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Nineteen Indian American and South Asian students have been named among the 160 high school students selected for the 52nd class of U.S. Scholars, an honor award annually to students whom achieve the highest in academics, arts, and career and technical education fields.

The 160 students are selected from a pool of 5,600 candidates across the country, based on SAT and ACT scores, and for their competition in the YoungArts Program. Application to the program is by invitation only; schools are unable to nominate specific students, nor can scholars apply to become part of the class individually.

Pavithra Nagarajan of Fremont, Calif. and Ruwanthi Ekanayake of Torrence, Calif. were recognized as U.S. Presidential Scholars of the Arts, chosen from the YoungArts program, a national program run by the National YoungArts Foundation to identify and recognize young people demonstrating excellence in the arts.

Tanusri Balla, of Stamford, Connecticut; along with Meghna Sreenivas of Fulton, Maryland; and Mohammad Rahim of Spring, Texas, were recognized as U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.

During the announcement of honorees, U.S. Secretary of Education John King said, “This year’s class of Presidential Scholars continues a more than 50 year trend of honoring students who’ve shown excellence in their educational, artistic and civic pursuits.”

“Thirty years ago, the program was expanded to include students in the arts, which is critical to providing students with a well-rounded education. Now, we’ve added 20 more slots to honor our highest achieving students in career and technical education, reflecting the department’s belief that a quality education must be a well-rounded education that prepares students for college, careers and any other civic service,” he added.

The class of scholars will be honored during a special ceremony on June 19 in Washington D.C., where each student will receive their Presidential Scholars medallion.

This year’s Indian American and South Asian American honorees, listed by state, are:

• Pavithra Nagarajan, American High School in Fremont, Calif.

• Ruwanthi N. Ekanayake, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Torrance, Calif.

• Tanusri Bhalla, Academy of Information Technology in Stamford, Connecticut.

• Rahul Subbaraya, Archmere Academy in Hockessin, Delaware.

• Sonali Durham, City High School in Iowa City, Iowa.

• Mayank Mardia, Jesuit High School in Kenner, Louisiana.

• Meghna Sreenivas, Reservoir High School in Fulton, Maryland.

• Gopi Ramanathan, Sartell High School in Sartell, Minnesota.

• Shagun Vashisth, Morris Hills High School, in Parsippany, New Jersey.

• Amrit Hingorani, Stuyvesant High School in Brooklyn, New York.

• Jay Pande, East Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

• Venkatesh Sivaraman, Bexley High School in Bexley, Ohio.

• Kavya Ravichandran, Hathaway Brown High School in Westlake, Ohio.

• Hirsh Sisodia, Souderton Area High School, in Harleysville, Pennsylvania.

• Sneha Mittal, Collierville High School in Collierville, Tennessee.

• Swarna Sakshi, Saint Mary’s Episcopal School in Collierville, Tennessee.

• Mohammad Rahim, Carl Wunsche Sr. High School in Spring, Texas.

• Reshini Premaratne, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Glen Allen, Virginia.

• Sunayana Rane, Interlake High School, in Bellevue, Washington.