Troy High School senior earns 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholar recognition

By: Sarah Wright | Troy Times | Published June 7, 2024




TROY — Aanya Shah, a senior at Troy High School, has been announced as one of the many students in 2024 to be named U.S. Presidential Scholars by the U.S. Department of Education.

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 8,200 of the nation’s top-performing students. 2024 is the program’s 60th anniversary.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on academic success, excellence in the arts and in technical education, through essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership.

The 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholars comprise 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. 

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced the 2024 winners and recognized 161 high school seniors. Shah is one of three Michigan scholars chosen, along with Anish Jain from Avondale High School in Auburn Hills and Olivia Jaden Stepnioski from Center Line High School in Center Line.

Shah was among 13 semifinalists in the state earlier named by the Commission on U.S. Presidential Scholars.

“I feel incredibly humbled and honored to be named a US Presidential Scholar,” Shah said in a press release. “With just a handful being selected from 3.7 million students, I would never have thought I’d win the nation’s top award from the White House and meet President Biden twice in a few months. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wonderful mom, dad, grandparents, the Troy School District, and teacher, Mrs. Katie Vitale. I’m beyond inspired to continue my academic, research, social justice, and legislative work.”

Sen. Michael Webber also congratulated Shah.

“Her commitment and dedication to leadership, service and success throughout her high school career is truly inspiring and a great source of pride for Troy, the surrounding communities of the 9th Senate District, and the entire state of Michigan,” Webber, R-Rochester Hills, said in a press release. “Aanya’s honor as a 2024 U.S. Presidential Scholar, distinguished participation as one of Michigan’s two student representatives to the United States Senate Youth Program earlier this year, and many other wonderful experiences have given her a great start toward achieving her dreams.”

Shah will attend Johns Hopkins University in the fall, majoring in public health and computational biology, which is on the pre-medicine track.