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Two Mississippi Students Named 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars

For Immediate Release: May 10, 2023 

Two Mississippi Students Named 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars 

JACKSON, Miss. – Two Mississippi students are among the 59th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, recognizing 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields. 

The Mississippi scholars include Madison G. Echols of Hattiesburg, a senior at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, and Leo Mei of Madison, a senior at Madison Central High School 

“I am proud of our Mississippi scholars and congratulate them for earning this national recognition,” said Mike Kent, interim state superintendent of education. “Their achievement demonstrates how Mississippi’s public schools can help students reach their greatest potential.” 

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 a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership. 

Of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,000 candidates qualified for the 2023 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 2023 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 over 8,000 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 Presidential Scholars Class of 2023 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program. 

A complete list of 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available at

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Media Contact: 

Jean Cook, APR
Chief of Communications

Shanderia Minor
Public Information Officer