60 ASPIRING ARTISTS NOMINATED FOR
2018 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLARS IN THE ARTS

Highest Honor Bestowed to Talented High School Seniors from
25 States and Representing 9 Artistic Disciplines

MIAMI, FL (January 31, 2018) –The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) today announced the nominees for the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic and artistic excellence. YoungArts is the sole nominating agency for this high honor and the 60 candidates, representing 25 states and nine artistic disciplines, are all YoungArts winners. The students have been nominated to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program for their artistic achievement on the heels of the organization’s annual signature program, National YoungArts Week, which concluded in Miami on January 14.

The candidate applications will be reviewed by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, which will ultimately select 20 high school seniors to be recognized as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts for their academic and artistic accomplishments, demonstrated leadership, community service and outreach initiatives, and overall creativity. In June, the 20 arts scholars will join the other 141 U.S. Presidential Scholars from across the country in Washington, D.C. for theNational Recognition Program. During the program, all scholars receive a Presidential Medallion presented on behalf of the President of the United States and participate in several recognition activities while in Washington, D.C. The 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts will present their work at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts through a special exhibition curated by YoungArts Exhibition Manager Luisa Munera, and a performance directed by YoungArts alumnus and Theater National Selection Panelist Michael McElroy (1985 Winner in Theater).

“The National YoungArts Foundation is proud to partner with the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program to acknowledge our nation’s most talented graduating high school seniors,” said Carolina García Jayaram, YoungArts President and CEO. “These young leaders excel in everything that they do, from their artistry and inquisitiveness, to their academics and activism. YoungArts congratulates each of the nominees on their accomplishments, and we look forward to announcing the selected arts scholars this spring.”

The 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts nominees are:

NameSchool City, StateSchoolYoungArts Winner Year and Discipline
James BaloMiami, FLDesign & Architecture Senior High School2018, Visual Arts
Lillian BenkoilNew York, NYFiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music2018, Cinematic Arts
William BrandtLos Angeles, CAAlexander Hamilton High2017, Voice
Sydney BurtisKissimmee, FLHomeschool2017, Dance
Willem ButlerHuntsville, ALVirgil I. Grissom High School2018, Theater
Benjamin ChampionIdyllwild, CAIdyllwild Arts Academy2018, Classical Music
Perry ChenSan Diego, CACanyon Crest Academy2018, Cinematic Arts
Aaron ChoateLexington, KYLafayette Senior High School2018, Dance
Natalie ChooCincinnati, OHSeven Hills School2018, Voice
Athena ChuWatertown, MABuckingham Browne & Nichols School2018, Writing
Gabriel CostacheInterlochen, MIInterlochen Arts Academy2018, Classical Music
Juliana CuevasLake Elsinore, CALakeside High School2018, Theater
Zoe D’AndreaSanta Monica, CASanta Monica High School2018, Theater
Cyan D’AnjouAtlanta, GAThe Westminster Schools2018, Visual Arts
Sophia DionIrwindale, CAOpportunities for Learning – Baldwin Park2018, Voice
Audrey EmataWest Chester, PAPennsylvania Leadership Charter School2018, Classical Music
Melissa Fernandez-FloresMiami, FLNew World School of the Arts2018, Visual Arts
Aidan ForsterGreenville, SCSouth Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities2018, Writing
Isabella FrancoLos Angeles, CAMarlborough School2016, Dance
Nathan GinterInterlochen, MIInterlochen Arts Academy2018, Cinematic Arts
Jayden GoldbergFort Worth, TXFort Worth Academy of Fine Arts2018, Voice
Elena GonzalezMiami, FLNew World School of the Arts2018, Theater
Ishmael GonzalezMiami, FLNew World School of the Arts2018, Theater
Claire GriffinBrevard, NCBrevard Senior High School2018, Voice
Vako GvelesianiNew York, NYFiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts2018, Dance
Amal HaddadKensington, MDAlbert Einstein High School2018, Visual Arts
Francisco HayeNew York, NYFiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts2018, Voice
Jacqueline HeSan Jose, CAHarker School2017, Writing
Megan HostetlerWest Palm Beach, FLAlexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts2018, Visual Arts
David HouLincolnshire, ILAdlai E. Stevenson High School2018, Classical Music
Christina ImPortland, ORSunset High School2017, Writing
Christopher JensenLos Angeles, CALos Angeles County High School for the Arts2018, Theater
Taylor KurtzTemecula, CAGreat Oak High School2016, Dance
Lauren LamLakeville, CTThe Hotchkiss School2018, Design Arts
Noah LeeRamsey, NJDon Bosco Preparatory High School2017, Classical Music
Sanna LeganSanta Monica, CANew Roads School2018, Visual Arts
Xavier LightfootMilwaukee, WIPius XI High School2018, Photography
Leanne LinMiami, FLDesign and Architecture Senior High School2018, Design Arts
Anilee ListLos Angeles, CALos Angeles County High School for the Arts2017, Voice
Claire ManningBoise, IDBoise High School2018, Visual Arts
William McGregorWest Chester, PAPennsylvania Leadership Charter School2018, Classical Music
Shreyah MohanselvanGahanna, OHColumbus Academy2018, Dance
Perry NaseckDallas, TXSaint Marks School of Texas2018, Design Arts
Jackson NealSugar Land, TXStephen F. Austin High School2018, Writing
Oliver NeubauerNew York, NYThe Dalton School2018, Classical Music
Brian NilesLos Angeles, CALos Angeles County High School for the Arts2018, Cinematic Arts
Liam OhWinnetka, ILNew Trier High School2018, Theater
Ameya OkamotoPortland, ORCatlin Gabel School2018, Visual Arts
Madelyn PaquetteSudbury, MALincoln-Sudbury Regional High School2017, Voice
Emir PriceDallas, TXBooker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts2018, Theater
Julian RheeBrookfield, WIBrookfield East High School2018, Classical Music
David SacksStanford, CAStanford Online High School2017, Classical Music
Nicolas SavignonAlbuquerque, NMEldorado High School2018, Writing
Christian SmithLas Vegas, NVLas Vegas Academy of the Arts2018, Dance
Frances TimberlakeCincinnati, OHSchool for Creative and Performing Arts2018, Writing
Felipe UrrutiaCoconut Grove, FLRansom Everglades School2018, Photography
Jace WeyantWinston Salem, NCUniversity of North Carolina School of the Arts2018, Dance
Liza WimbishMidlothian, VAMidlothian High School2018, Photography