Jonathan Law student vies for Presidential Scholar title

Rhea Grant, a graduating senior at Jonathan Law High School, has been named one of more than 4,500 candidates in the 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

The candidates were selected from nearly 3.6 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2018. Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, now in its 54th year, is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors, according to a program spokesperson.

Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character, and involvement in community and school activities.

Last year, Rhea earned the Yale Bassett Award for Community Engagement, which honors emerging leaders who have distinguished themselves through leadership and public service. She was also sworn in last year for her second term as a member of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut board of directors.

Rhea has worked on environmental issues with the group Groundwork USA, which is devoted to “transforming the natural and built environment of marginalized communities.” In 2015, she attended Groundwork’s national conference in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, where she got to weigh in on conversations about difficult subjects, such as environmental justice and what Groundwork USA could do to promote change.

She is also very involved in the Jonathan Law High School community.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by executive order of the president to recognize some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership, and service to school and community. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students demonstrating exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative and performing arts.

In 2015, the program was expanded to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical fields.

All scholars are invited to Washington, D.C., in June for the National Recognition Program, featuring various events and enrichment activities and culminating in the presentation of the Presidential Scholars Medallion during a White House-sponsored ceremony.

Rhea is the daughter of Renae and Patrick Grant.