Rickards High student named 2021 US Presidential Scholar

Seven other high school seniors from Florida received the award as well.
Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 2:41 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Rickards High School student was named one of just eight Presidential Scholars in the State of Florida.

Rohan Davidi was recognized for his academics, his community service and his leadership.

“I didn’t set out to win the Presidential Scholar, but it definitely feels great. I mean when you put in effort and get the kind of support and recognition that you do, it feels great,” he said.

Davidi was honored for many accomplishments, including starting a linguistics club at Rickards and tutoring local migrant children.

Davidi will be attending Stanford University in the fall to study computer science, math and linguistics.

He says he is excited for the opportunities ahead.

“Up until now,  everything I’ve done is in line with what excites me most . So, I don’t know where I’m going to be in 5 years or 10 years,” Davidi said of his future,  “but I just know wherever I am it’ll definitely be in a place where every day I’m excited by what I do.”

It’s been a pretty good week. Davidi was named a Best and Brightest winner the night before he found out about this.

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona says by honoring Davidi and the other 160 Presidential Scholars nationwide,  “can remind us all of the great potential in each new generation.”

Here is the full list of Florida students who were named the Presidential Scholars:

  • Barrett Ryan Young, Branford High School, Branford, Florida (U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education).
  • Ellen Choi, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, Melbourne, Florida.
  • Jalynn Jaielle McDuffey, Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami, Florida (U.S. Presidential Scholar in Arts).
  • Elyse Yvonne Thomas, School for Advanced Studies-Wolfson, Miami, Florida (U.S. Presidential Scholar in Arts).
  • Is Perlman, Design & Architecture Senior High School, Miami, Florida (U.S. Presidential Scholar in Arts).
  • Stephen Adam Savage, Savage Home School, Port St. Lucie, Florida (U.S. Presidential Scholar in Arts).
  • Elyse V. Soracco, Creekside High School, Saint Johns, Florida (U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education).
  • Rohan R Davidi, James S. Rickards High School, Tallahassee, Florida

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona says the scholars represent extraordinary achievements for our extraordinary times.

“I am delighted to join President Biden in saluting these outstanding young people for their achievements, service, character and continued pursuit of excellence,” Cardona says. “Their examples make me proud and hopeful about the future. Honoring them can remind us all of the great potential in each new generation and renew our commitment to helping them achieve their dreams.”

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars each year based on academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, in addition to community service, leadership and commitment to high ideals.

More than 6,000 students qualified for the 2021 awards based on their high scores on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, the nationwide YoungArts program and other partner recognition organizations, the department says.

The 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars are made up of one young man and one young woman from each state, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad. Additionally, 15 at-large candidates are chosen, as well as 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education.

The 2021 class of Presidential Scholars will be recognized for their achievements over the summer.

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