Press Release: January 29, 2021



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QuestBridge Finalists Nominated for Prestigious U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

Palo Alto, California (January 29, 2021) – QuestBridge is excited to announce the high school seniors nominated by QuestBridge as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students. In 2015, QuestBridge became one of only a few partner organizations nationally selected to identify outstanding students for this honor.

The nominees were selected from a competitive pool of 6,885 Finalists of the QuestBridge National College Match. QuestBridge initially received over 18,500 applicants for the 2020 National College Match, a national program that connects high-achieving high school seniors from low-income backgrounds with full four-year scholarships to the nation’s top colleges. Several of these nominees are also QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship Recipients, receiving full scholarships to top colleges valued at over $200,000.

Our 21 nominees* for the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program are:

Youssef Abdelhalim – Hillsborough High School, Hillsborough, NJ

Serkute Abebe – Apex Friendship High School, Holly Springs, NC

Kelly Bonilla Guzman – Hayfield Secondary School, Alexandria, VA

Helen Chen – High School for Dual Language and Asian Studies, Brooklyn, NY

Caroline Curran – Sturgis Charter Public School East, Pocasset, MA

Mohammad Hemeida – Early College Academy at Southridge, Houston, TX

Cameron Iizuka – Lake Oswego High School, Lake Oswego, OR

Katherine Kitsinger – Capital High School, Boise, ID

Sokhna Lo – Mount Tabor High School, Winston Salem, NC

Ly Na Nguyen – Science Hill High School, Johnson City, TN

Nicholas Paredes – Pine View School, Sarasota, FL

Daniel Scanlon – New Hope-Solebury High School, New Hope, PA

Paxson Swierc – Hellgate High School, Missoula, MT

Mahider Tadesse – East High School, Salt Lake City, UT

Diya Theodore – Redlands High School, Riverside, CA

Esther Ukachukwu – Seminole High School, Sanford, FL

Dominic Wiharso – Scituate High School, North Scituate, RI

Derek Wong – Keystone School, San Antonio, TX

Gina Yum – Liberty High School, Bakersfield, CA

Upon submission of the application, candidates will be notified of semi-finalist status in April. Presidential Scholars will be notified in May 2021.

*Some students, who opted out of making their candidacy public, are not included on this list.

About QuestBridge:

QuestBridge, a national nonprofit based in Palo Alto, California, connects the nation’s most exceptional, low-income youth with leading institutions of higher education and further life opportunities. By recruiting, developing, and motivating these students — beginning in high school through college to their early career — QuestBridge aims to help talented low-income students attend the nation’s best colleges and to support them to achieve success in their respective careers and communities.