Jin Chung, a St. John’s School graduating senior, has earned one of the nation’s highest honors a high schooler can receive by being named a 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholar. The United States Department of Education has recently announced that Chung is among the 161 high school seniors nationwide to receive this honor for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership.
Chung describes this achievement as surreal. He explained that while he still has trouble processing the fact that he has been selected for this honor, he takes pride in representing the youth of his generation. “I also acknowledge that none of this would be possible without the support of my parents, mentors, friends, and colleagues: those who have shaped me into who I am today. To them, I am eternally grateful,” expressed the graduating senior.
In the fall, Chung will attend Yale University with plans to major in Ethics, Politics, and Economics. He wishes to proceed to law school after his undergraduate education.
Of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,000 candidates qualified for the 2023 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by chief state school officers, other partner recognition organizations and YoungArts, the National Foundation for the Advancement of Artists.
Nominated by Chung, long-time St. John’s School English teacher Leslie Salas, was also recognized as a 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program’s Distinguished Teacher. “I nominated Mrs. Salas as my Distinguished Teacher because she has helped me realize my interests and passions more clearly than any other teacher. English, Speech, Mythology, I may not have the highest grades in these classes, but they’ve undoubtedly redefined the way I see and think about the world around me.”
The Presidential Scholars Class of 2023 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program.