Bedford native a semifinalist for US Presidential Scholar award

Christopher Yang, a senior at Phillips Academy Andover and a Bedford resident, has been named a semifinalist in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Scholars program. He is the son of Jack Yang and Shelley Song.

Approximately 550 semifinalists were selected from more than 3,300 candidates on the basis of superior achievements, leadership qualities, personal character, and involvement in community and school activities.

Semifinalists were chosen by a panel of distinguished educators after a review of students’ essays, self-assessments, descriptions of activities, school recommendations and school transcripts.

Final selection of the U.S. Presidential Scholars will be made by the Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of people appointed by the president, and will be announced in May.

The commission will select one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. students living abroad; up to 20 students representing the visual, literary and performing arts; and 15 students-at-large.

Scholars will be invited to Washington, D.C., in June to receive the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in various activities and events held in their honor.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars program was established in 1964 by executive order of the president to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts.

Each year, up to 141 students are named as U.S. Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.