Alan Zhu


A local teenager is receiving national recognition for his academic achievements.

Alan Zhu, who will soon graduate from Rapid City Stevens High School, has been named a 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholar. He is one of 161 high school seniors in the nation to receive the designation this year.

"I was honestly really kind of surprised because it's really selective," Zhu said Wednesday of the award, adding that he learned of the honor on his birthday last week.

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The White House selects scholars for the program each year based on their academics, essay writing ability, college exam scores and level of civic engagement. One male and one female student from each state are awarded the honor each year. Candidates are also chosen from Puerto Rico, American families living abroad, and from art and technical schools.

Zhu, 17, has participated in academic competitions at the local and national level. He told the Rapid City Journal that he plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after graduating and intends to study computer science.

An award ceremony for this year's class will take place in Washington, D.C., on June 23.

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