|2016 U.S. Presidential Scholar Danielle Newton (second from left) with other U.S. Presidential Scholars from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah.|
Danielle Newton, a 2016 graduate of Eaglecrest High School, says her recent trip to Washington D.C. was “a huge, humbling experience.” Newton, who is a 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholar, traveled to the nation’s capital to receive her Presidential Scholar Medallion, along with 159 other Presidential Scholars from across the country.
“Every scholar that I shared a conversation with was so accomplished and so intelligent,” Newton said. “It was an amazing feeling to share a weekend with such down to earth, talented and kind students from all across the United States. I met friends I will have for a lifetime.”
To be selected as a U.S. Presidential Scholar, students must demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service and contribution to school and community. Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors.
During her time in Washington D.C., Newton got to visit the U.S. Capitol and meet members of Colorado’s congressional delegation. She also visited the White House.
“Although we didn't get to meet President Obama, we did get to meet and speak with Senator Tim Kaine, who is now Hillary Clinton's running mate, during a panel discussion about education in America,” Newton said. “This was my first time in D.C., so I also dedicated a lot of time to sightseeing and touring the nation's capital. Each monument took my breath away, and I cannot wait to go back someday and discover more!”
This fall Newton will attend Princeton University where she will study molecular biology. She plans to pursue a career in medical research.
“I picture myself working in a lab… Researching cures for diseases is kind of my dream,” Newton said.
Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored almost 7,000 of the nation’s top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual ceremony in D.C. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.
The 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars group comprise one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad. The group also includes 15 chosen at-large, 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, and for the first time, 20 U.S. Presidential Scholars in Career and Technical Education.