The United States Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has announced the 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars and Folsom resident Penelope Oliver is amongst the list of 161 high school seniors being recognized for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education. 

“The 161 high school seniors selected for the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Presidential Scholars represents the best of our nation’s schools and inspire hope in the bright future of this country,” said Cardona. “On behalf of President Biden, I am delighted to celebrate their accomplishments, and encourage these scholars to continue to aim high, lift up others, and embrace opportunities to lead.”


Oliver is a resident of Folsom and a high school senior, she studies at Horizon Charter School which is based in Lincoln. While she is one of 161 students from across the nation on the list, she is just one of nine students from California. As any high school student would be, Oliver was excited to get the word she made the list and has since been doing her share of media interviews, while she is still busy studying and doing advocacy work with the non-profit she founded known as All Access Arts which provided STEM and arts education to different communities including working in shelters four times a week. When she was 17, she also was recognized for interviewing First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom where they discussed the state’s Farm to School program.

“I still haven’t gotten over it. To me, this means that hard work does pay off, that I’m living proof that dreams and ambition and having compassion and passion to change your community are so powerful.” said Oliver, who was nominated as a candidate for consideration as opposed being named by means of SAT or ACT test scores as many others are. 


Of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,700 candidates qualified for the 2024 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.

As directed by Presidential Executive Order, the 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of two students 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, according to information provide to Folsom Times by the United States Board of Education. 


So what’s ahead for this already much accomplished young lady from Folsom? It looks like higher educations and plenty of advocacy and non—profit work will be in her future. She plans to attended the University of California, Berkley where she will seek a political science and international relations degree with a minor in human rights, and she’s not stopping there but no matter what will continue “being herself,” as she puts it.


“I also want to go to law school, and I possibly want to be a human rights lawyer, or an immigration lawyer or work for the United Nations,” she recently shared. “Whatever journey you’re on, you can succeed and continue being yourself.”

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2024 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program.


A complete list of 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars follows and is also available at

2024 U.S. Presidential Scholar Penelope Oliver (pictured on the right) is pictured interviewing First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom previously. 

Scholars for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program 
May 2024
[*] Scholar for U.S. Presidential Scholar in Arts. 
[**] Scholar for U.S Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education. 
AL – Manav Aggarwal, Huntsville – Randolph School 
AL – Samantha Si-Wai Chan, Madison – Bob Jones High School 
*AL – Nalin J. Reed, Trussville – Alabama School of Fine Arts 
AK – Bentley D. Altman, Anchorage – Family Partnership Charter School 
AK – Samantha J. Holler, Wasilla – Mat-Su Career and Tech Highschool 
American Abroad 
AA – Anna E. Roth, Stuttgart – Stuttgart High School 
AA – Henry Zhou, Beijing – Thacher School 
AZ – Matteo N. Huish, Mesa – BASIS Mesa 
AZ – Sruti Peddi, Fountain Hills – BASIS Scottsdale Charter 
AZ – Vivian M. Saavedra, Scottsdale – Chaparral High School 
AR – Collier DeClerk, Gentry – Bentonville West High School 
AR – Ananya Uddanti, Little Rock – Central High School 
*CA – Edward Chen, Irvine – Orange County High School of the Arts 
*CA – Lauren Amy Cheng, Burlingame – Burlingame High School 
*CA – Brian Bowen Guan, Dublin – Dublin High School 
**CA – Jacob L. Hutchison Jr., Visalia – Redwood High School 
*CA – Ian Byul Kim, Glendale – Harvard-Westlake School 
CA – Penelope L. Oliver, Folsom – Horizon Charter School 
**CA – Caitlyn Haein Park, Santa Clarita – Saugus High School 
*CA – Erin Park, Chino – Chino High School 
CA – Kyle Tianshi, San Diego – The Cambridge School 
CO – Rachel E. Cooper, Centennial – Regis Jesuit High School-Girls Division 
CO – Siddharth R. Nareddy, Westminster – Peak to Peak Charter School 
CT – Leigh M. Foran, Westport – Staples High School 
CT – Annika Fleur Emilia Mengwall, Darien – Darien High School 
CT – Cy J. Pavlov, Trumbull – Trumbull High School 
**DE – Anaum H. Allimulla, Newark – Newark Charter School 
DE – Amanrai S. Kahlon, Hockessin – Sanford School 
**DE – Runyi Liu, Newark – Newark Charter School 
DE – Michelle Wang Mao, Newark – Cab Calloway School of the Arts High School 
District of Columbia 
DC – Keya Krishna, Washington – Sidwell Friends School 
DC – Devan Tissington Lakshmanan Tatlow, Washington – School Without Walls 
*FL – Paola Beatrice Alvarez Ramirez, Miami – New World School of the Arts 
FL – Sharanya Chatterjee, Orlando – Freedom High School 
*FL – Ale Fonseca, Miami – Miami Arts Studio 6-12 @ Zelda Glazer 
*FL – Niveah Desirea Glover, Jacksonville – Douglas Anderson School of the Arts 
FL – Esperance J. Han, Ocala – North Marion High School 
FL – Joshua C. Martoma, Boca Raton – Pine Crest School 
**GA – Han Shaun Lee, Alpharetta – Johns Creek High School 
GA – Gordon E. Lichtstein, Decatur- Decatur High School 
**GA – Vineeth Sendilraj, Suwanee – Lambert High School 
GA – Joanna Yian Xiao, Richmond Hill – Richmond Hill High School 
HI – Maile-Lei Ji, Kamuela – Kealakehe High School 
HI – Michael X. Kostecki, Honolulu – Iolani School 
HI – Ahryanna P. McGuirk, Kailua – Kalaheo High School 
ID – Austin Jackson Giffen, Boise- Timberline High School 
ID – Hayoon Lee, Boise- Timberline High School 
IL – Intisar A. Alkhatib, Chicago – Lincoln Park High School 
IL – Pradyumn M. Bonu, Buffalo Grove – Adlai E. Stevenson High School 
IL – Ryan Y.P. He, Charleston- University of Illinois Laboratory High School 
IL – Zuyu Liu, Palatine – Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy 
IL – Sai Peddainti, Naperville – Waubonsie Valley High School 
IN- Nathaniel Glenn Bryan, Fort Wayne- Concordia Lutheran High School 
IN- Claire H. He, Zionsville – Carmel High School 
IA- Andrew Dong, Iowa City – West High School 
IA- Sarah Park, Ames – Ames High School 
KS – Ayaan Parikh, Wichita – Wichita Collegiate School 
KS – Anahi Sanchez, Newton – Newton High School 
KS – Paranjay Sharma, Leawood- The Barstow School 
KY – Owen Matthew Borden, Fort Thomas – Highlands High School 
KY – Sarah Elise Cauley, Murray – Murray High School 
KY – Jennifer Mi Nguyen, Grayson -The Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics at Morehead State University 
*KY – Chase R. Phillips, Louisville – duPont Manual Magnet High School 
KY – Joshua Zyzak, Lakeside Park – Beechwood High School 
LA – Kathy Hu, Baton Rouge – Episcopal High School 
LA – Brandon Lin, Baton Rouge – Baton Rouge Magnet High School 
ME – Isaac N. Kahn, Kennebunk- Kennebunk High School 
ME – Kylie Jade Thibodeau, Raymond – Gray New Gloucester High School 
MD – Maximilian P. Belyantsev, North Potomac – Richard Montgomery High School 
MD – Mingni L. Dong, Lutherville Timonium – Dulaney High School 
**MD – Minaal A. Khwaja, Salisbury – Wicomico High School 
MD – Angelina Xu, Boyds – Richard Montgomery High School 
MA – Radhika Heda, Lexington – Lexington High School 
**MA – Sarah Jane Johansen, Tewksbury- Shawsheen Valley Vocational Technical High School 
MA – Aryan Mago, Shrewsbury – Groton School 
MI – Anish Jain, Auburn Hills – Avondale Senior High School 
MI – Aanya Shah, Troy – Troy High School 
**MI – Olivia Jaden Stepnioski, Warren – Center Line High School 
MN – Philippa Jane Pflaum, Wayzata – Phillips Exeter Academy 
MN – Derrick Siu, Edina – Edina High School 
*MN – Ming Wei Yeoh, Chanhassen – Minnetonka High School 
MS – Noah Curtis Lee, Southaven – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science 
MS – Iris Jiani Xue, Southaven – Mississippi School for Mathematics & Science 
**MO – Lynn Marie Dyer, Higginsville – Lafayette County C-1 High School
MO – Shubha Gautam, Columbia – Columbia-Rock Bridge Senior High School 
MO – Santosh Manikandan, Wentzville – Liberty High School 
MT – Ellis Walker-Keleher, Missoula – United World College East Africa (Arusha Campus) 
MT – Grace M Wandler, Missoula – Hellgate High School 
NE – Mark M. Bausch, Omaha – Creighton Preparatory School 
NE – Christina Xu, Lincoln – Lincoln East High School 
NV – Samuel Z. Chen, Las Vegas – Clark High School 
NV – Beverly Y. Wang, Las Vegas – The Meadows School 
New Hampshire 
**NH – Molly Fitzgerald DellaValla, Jackson- Homeschool 
NH – Deetya B. Nagri, Nashua – Nashua Senior High School South 
NH – Prayag J. Patel, Auburn – The Derryfield School 
New Jersey 
*NJ – Iris Hur, Paramus – Bergen County Academies 
*NJ – Gabrielle Liberman, Summit – Kent Place School 
NJ – Pranav Sitaraman, Edison – Middlesex County Academy for Science Math & Engineering 
*NJ – Nicholas Yoo, Ramsey- Delbarton School 
NJ – Selina S. Zhang, Annandale – North Hunterdon High School 
*NJ – Harmony Zhu, Cresskill – The Brearley School 
New Mexico 
NM – Kayan A. Rivera-Graham, Albuquerque – Albuquerque Institute of Math and Science 
NM – Aileen Adanma Ukwuoma, Albuquerque – Early College Academy 
NM – Karen Weijia Zhang, Albuquerque – Albuquerque Academy 
New York 
*NY – Detola D. Badmus, Elmont – Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts 
NY – Natasha Kulviwat, Jericho – Jericho Senior High School 
NY – Sheldon Y. Liu, New York – Stuyvesant High School 
NY – Elaine Wang, Garden City- Garden City Senior High School 
**NY – Ariana Amanda Watson, North Woodmere – Lawrence High School 
NY – Thomas A. Wills II, Clay – Cicero-No Syracuse High School 
North Carolina 
NC – Dishita Agarwal, Greensboro – The Early College at Guilford 
NC – Jacob Elijah Chen, Waxhaw – Providence Day School 
North Dakota 
ND – Hanson W. Du, Grand Forks – Grand Forks Central High School 
**ND – Teagan L. Erbele, Lehr – Napoleon High School 
ND – Selena Wu, Grand Forks – Red River High School 
OH – Chardon Javar Black, Jr., Cleveland – John Hay Senior High School 
OH – Annabella Clara Burton Boone, Delaware- Olentangy Berlin High School 
OK – Jack David Carson, Tulsa – Booker T. Washington High School 
OK – Ella Grace Newhouse, Tulsa – Cascia Hall Preparatory School 
OR – Richard Z. Chen, Corvallis – Crescent Valley High School 
OR – Stella C. Wang, Portland – Jesuit High School 
PA – Prithvi Vijay Narayanan, State College- State College Area High School 
PA – Aneri Shethji, Sewickley – North Allegheny Senior High 
Puerto Rico 
PR – Meghna A. Pramoda, Guaynabo- Baldwin School of Puerto Rico 
PR – Owen Thomas Weber, Dorado – Tasis School in Dorado 
Rhode Island 
RI – Margaret Catherine Lauder, Portsmouth – Portsmouth High School 
RI – Ryan Steven Lukowicz, North Kingstown- North Kingstown Senior High School 
South Carolina 
SC – Anna Elizabeth Cully, Lexington- River Bluff High School 
SC – Michael Yi Lee, Mount Pleasant – Academic Magnet High School 
*SC – Jessie J. Leitzel, Mount Pleasant – Charleston County School of the Arts 
South Dakota 
SD – Owen O. Burns, Brookings – Brookings High School 
**SD – Faith Genzlinger, Winfred – Howard High School 
SD – Camryn Jean Lounsbery, Brookings – Brookings High School 
TN – Avigail Laing, Knoxville – Bearden High School 
TN – Jonathan Aryan Mehrotra, Cordova – White Station High School 
TX – Isabelle Agarwal, Richardson- Richardson High School 
*TX – Patrick Christie Flanagan, Dallas – St. Mark’s School of Texas 
TX – Alex Pan, Dallas – St. Mark’s School of Texas 
**TX – Amisha Sao, Cedar Park- Round Rock High School 
TX – Eric J Tong, Colleyville – Grapevine Senior High School 
UT – Audrey Su, Sandy – Skyline High School 
UT – Joseph Tsai, Provo – Timpview High School 
VT – Matthew Henry Califano, Craftsbury Common- Craftsbury Academy 
VT – Hannah Noelle Cunningham, Burlington – Rice Memorial High School 
VA – Benjamin Daniil Cohen, Falls Church – Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology 
*VA – Hannah Z. Hong, Yorktown – Grafton High School 
**VA – Olivia Kasie Judd, Winchester – James Wood High School 
**VA – Raaga Kodali, Ashburn – Briar Woods High School 
*VA – Christian Philip Trimmingham, Richmond- Interlochen Arts Academy 
VA – Sriya Yalamanchili, Sterling – Academies of Loudoun 
WA- Ashwin Joshi, Kennewick- Southridge High School 
**WA – Lexi J. Molnar, Centerville – Goldendale High School 
**WA – Siddhartha Dylan Pant, Lakewood- Lakes High School 
**WA – Jacob J. Scrupps, Ritzville – Odessa High School 
WA- Kosha Upadhyay, Bellevue- Bellevue Senior High School 
West Virginia 
WV- Grant Carter Kenamond, Wheeling – Wheeling Park High School
WV- Lauren Jiayi Shen, Morgantown – Morgantown High School
WI – Ezra M. Linnan, Sturgeon Bay – Sevastopol High School
WI – Anica Tipkemper-Wolfe, Cedarburg – Cedarburg Senior High School
WY – Landis D. Zebroski, Sheridan – Sheridan High School
WY – Grace H. Zhou, Laramie- Laramie High School
Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan

Bill Sullivan has over 25 years of professional journalism and content creation experience in which he has earned 37 professional awards. He is the co-founder/publisher of Folsom Times an All Town Media LLC product.