Sarah D. Benjamin, a resident of Great Falls and senior at Thomas Jefferson High, has been named one of 560 semifinalists in the 2008 Presidential Scholars Program. The semifinalists were selected from more than 3,000 candidates on the basis of superior achievements, leadership qualities, personal character, and involvement in community and school activities.
The Presidential Scholars program is one of the nation’s highest honors for graduating seniors. Final selection of the Scholars will be made by the Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of citizens appointed by the President, and will be announced in May. The Commission will select one man and one woman from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. students living abroad, as well as up to 20 students representing the visual, literary and performing arts.
Sarah is one of the 513 semifinalists in the program’s academic component. These students were initially selected as candidates for their exceptional performance on either the College Board SAT or the ACT assessment. Semifinalists were chosen from the nominees by a panel of distinguished educators after a review of the students’ essays, self-assessments, extracurricular activities, school recommendations, and school transcripts.
In the fall, Sarah will attend Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh where she was recently named a Charpie Scholar, a prestigious university merit scholarship granted to only four incoming freshman. She plans to study physics with specialization in astrophysics.