Columbia High School senior Akkhil Morkonda is one of 25 New York State high school seniors to be nominated for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, according to the NYS Education Department. Presidential Scholar recognition is one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.
The program makes selections annually based on academics, school evaluations, transcripts, community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.
“It’s quite an honor,” Mr. Morkonda said of his selection.
Mr. Morkonda is a High Honor Roll student, a member of the Math League and MasterMinds, and he was inducted into the Science National Honor Society this fall. He also competes on the Columbia Science Olympiad team, winning a sliver medal at the 2022 NYS Championships.
This past summer, Mr. Morkonda completed an internship as a technical assistant at a hospital in India.
“I found my passion for science and math pretty early on,” he said. “Finding that in freshman year and joining these clubs like Science Olympiad, Math League and MasterMinds, I was able to really pour my heart and soul into achieving these accomplishments.”
Application to the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is by invitation only. Students chosen as U.S. Presidential Scholars receive a U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion in June.
“I sincerely appreciate the nomination of Akkhil Morkonda from my Assembly District that was put forth by Commissioner Betty Rosa as part of an elite group of students for the Presidential Scholars program,” said Assemblymember John T. McDonald III, who represents a portion of the East Greenbush CSD in the state legislature. “This prestigious program recognizes the talent and commitment of these future leaders. Thank you to Commissioner Rosa and the Regents for their continued efforts to shine a light on these bright stars throughout New York State.”
After graduating from Columbia in June, Mr. Morkonda plans to attend a four-year university and study biomedical engineering.
“Akkhil is a compassionate and thoughtful person who has a positive impact on anyone he encounters each day,” said Columbia Principal Michael Harkin. “It has been a pleasure being his principal and I look forward to his impact on the world in the future.”
General Component Nominees for the 2023 Presidential Scholars Program
- Akkhil Morkonda, Columbia High School, East Greenbush Central School District
- Alexa DeSanctis, Fairport High School, Fairport Central School District
- Neyferson Solis Usme, Harrison High School, Harrison Central School District
- Lily Glazier, Franklin Academy High School, Malone Central School District
- Sampson Moyik, The Clinton School, NYC Geographic District #2
- Olivia Dartley, The Clinton School, NYC Geographic District #2
- Muhammad Naqvi, Francis Lewis High School, NYC Geographic District #26
- Jena Kim, Francis Lewis High School, NYC Geographic District #26
- Niamh Smyth, Academy of American Studies, NYC Geographic District #30
- Jordan Sewell, Academy of American Studies, NYC Geographic District #30
- Cayden Auyeung, Staten Island Technical High School, NYC Geographic District #31
- Casey Boyle, Staten Island Technical High School, NYC Geographic District #31
- Luke Dickhuth, Earl L. Vandermeulen High School, Port Jefferson Union Free School District
- Jasmyne Floyd, World of Inquiry High School No. 58, Rochester City School District
- Shaan Sekhon, Saugerties Senior High School, Saugerties Central School District
- Nicole Zhou, Scarsdale High School, Scarsdale Union Free School District
- Sabrina Guo, Syosset High School, Syosset Central School District
- Bohdan Centore, Westhill High School, Westhill Central School District
- Succhay Sreenivas Gadhar, Williamsville East High School, Williamsville Central School District
- Julia Young, Clayton A. Bouton High School, Voorheesville Central School District
Career and Technical Education Nominees for the 2023 Presidential Scholars Program
- Alex Wejko, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Junior-Senior High School, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District
- Cody Cardinal, Depew High School, Depew Union Free School District
- Ashly Duarte-Calderon, Ramapo High School, East Ramapo Central School District
- Nicholas Milau, General Douglas MacArthur High School, Levittown Public Schools
- Chloe Phillips, Southampton High School, Southampton Union Free School District