Department of Defense Education Activity

Ramey Student Named Presidential Scholar

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AGUADILLA, PUERTO RICO — June 1, 2021 — Nicolas Taj Proskauer Valerio, a student of Ramey School in Puerto Rico, has been named a U.S Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education. The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.

“I have had the opportunity to watch Nico at athletic events, as well as see him on campus and in the classrooms during the last three school years. From my interactions and observations, he is the quality of student that you would want to represent your school, and he is much deserving of this recognition,” said Dr. Sherwood, who is the community superintendent for DoDEA schools in Puerto Rico. “His mother and father are DoDEA educators and have instilled in him a drive for learning, excellence and hard work in everything he does. I’m certain that we will continue to hear great things about Nico in the years to come, and I look forward to seeing him succeed in whatever field of study he chooses.”  

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 evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. This year, 161 high school seniors are being recognized through the program for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

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“Where I’m from, not many people understand the gravity of being selected as a Presidential Scholar,” said Proskauer Valerio. “Working hard and doing your best is a thankless task sometimes. This selection reinforces all of the work I’ve done to get here.”

Proskauer Valerio has demonstrated outstanding leadership as an exemplary student and scholar-athlete. He demonstrates an exceptional work ethic, the desire to improve and the ability to lead. He is an essential contributor to the school community and an asset to its programs. After graduation, he will continue his studies in computer science at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.

"The 2021 Presidential Scholars represent extraordinary achievements for our extraordinary times," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "I am delighted to join President Biden in saluting these outstanding young people for their achievements, service, character and continued pursuit of excellence. 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."

Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 6,000 candidates qualified for the 2021 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 the National YoungArts Foundation's nationwide YoungArts™ program.

As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 Scholars in the arts and 20 Scholars in career and technical education. 

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 7,600 of the nation's top-performing students. The program was expanded in 1979 to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, literary and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields.
The U.S. Department of Education will recognize this summer the Presidential Scholars Class of 2021 for their outstanding achievement.

A complete list of 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available at http://www.ed.gov/psp.

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