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State Board Student Representative Omar Jamil Among Mississippi’s Seven U.S. Presidential Scholar Semifinalists


For Immediate Release:  May 3, 2021

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education announced today that outgoing Mississippi State Board of Education student representative Omar Jamil of Hernando is one of seven Mississippi students selected as semifinalists for the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The program honors the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors.

Appointed in 2019, Jamil served as one of two inaugural members of the Mississippi State Board of Education Student Representative Program.

Mississippi’s Presidential Scholar semifinalists for 2021:

  • Edmund S. Doerksen, Oxford - Oxford High School
  • Samhita G. Dulam, Natchez - Deerfield Academy
  • LaChassity Solange Jackson, McComb - McComb High School
  • Omar Grayson Jamil, Hernando - DeSoto Central High School
  • Emmanuelle Rachel Teng, Oxford - Oxford High School
  • Marley E. Thornton, Raleigh - Raleigh High School (Career and Technical Education semifinalist)
  • Matthew Landon Yin, Madison - Madison Central High School

Mississippi’s semifinalists were selected from among 6,500 candidates nationwide. A total of 625 high school seniors were selected as semifinalists for 2021. These students form the pool from which the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be chosen.

The 2021 Presidential Scholars will be selected based on their accomplishments in many areas – academic and artistic success, leadership, and involvement in school and the community – and represent excellence in education.

“I am incredibly proud of our Mississippi semifinalists and congratulate them for earning this national recognition,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “I look forward to seeing what these future leaders accomplish after high school.”

Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program honors the nation's top-performing students with the prestigious award given to honorees during the annual ceremony in D.C. The program was later expanded to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the arts and career and technical education fields.


Media Contact: 

Jean Cook, APR
Director of Public Relations