More than a dozen Indian American students among 2019 US Presidential Scholars

Photo credit: US Department of Education

More than 10 percent of the 55th class of US Presidential Scholars is Indian American.

The results for one of the most prestigious high school awards are out and, once again, Indian American students have made a mark with their academic excellence.

Last week, the Department of Education announced the names of 161 students selected as the 2019 US Presidential Scholars. More than 10 percent of the 55th class of US Presidential Scholars is Indian American.

“I want to congratulate this year’s class of Presidential Scholars on their achievement both inside of the classroom and out,” said Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said announcing the names. “Their hard work and commitment to excellence, no matter what challenge they are tackling, will serve them well throughout their lifelong learning journeys. I have no doubt that many of tomorrow’s leaders are among this year’s class of Scholars.”

READ MORE: 11 Indian American students named Presidential Scholars for 2015 (May 8, 2015)

The Presidential Scholars are selected each year by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. High school seniors across the country are chosen on the basis of academic excellence, essays, community service and technical achievements.

In Georgia and New Jersey, two Indian American students have been selected.

In Missouri, among the two students that have won the Presidential Scholarship, one is an Indian American: Sujay Murali of Marquette High School in Rockwood School District.

READ MORE: 16 Indian American students named Presidential Scholars (May 28, 2014)

In Wayzata, Minnesota, Anika Ahluwalia, a senior at Wayzata High School won the prestigious scholarship.

In 2018, out of the 161 students selected as Presidential Scholars, 26 were South Asian Americans.

The winners this year were selected from 3.6 million high school seniors expected to graduate this summer. A ceremony to honor the recipients will be held in Washington on June 23 where each awardee will be receiving a Presidential Scholar Medallion.

Here is the list of Indian American US Presidential Scholars:

Arizona: Saaketh Ram-Rachakonda Narayan, Phoenix—BASIS Scottsdale Charter

Delaware: Akhil D Rao, Newark—Caravel Academy

Washington, DC: Shiva Khanna Yamamoto, Washington—St. Albans School

Georgia: Vani Senthil, Duluth—Duluth High School

Georgia: Keerti Jessica Soundappan, Kathleen—Houston County High School

Illinois: Anuva Shandilya, Naperville—Neuqua Valley High School

Kansas: Ritvik Illindala, Overland Park—Blue Valley West High School

Minnesota: Anika Ahluwalia, Maple Grove—Wayzata High School

Missouri: Sujay Murali, Ballwin—Marquette High School

Nebraska: Sukanya Kennamthiang, Omaha—Brownell-Talbot School

Nevada: Ananya Sahiba Dewan, N Las Vegas—Northwest Career and Tech Academy

New Jersey: Sonia Purohit, Branchburg—Academy for Health-Medical Science

New Jersey: Rohan Brahm Sharma, East Windsor—Mercer County Technical Schools—Health Science Academy

New York: Anisha M. Kasi, New City—Clarkstown High School North

North Carolina: Navami Jain, Charlotte—The North Carolina School of Science & Mathematics

Oklahoma: Anushka Nair, Lake Oswego—Lake Oswego High School

Pennsylvania: Akhila Yalvigi, Avondale—Avon Grove High School

Texas: Isha Parupudi, Friendswood—Clear Springs High School

Wisconsin: Namitha Alexander, Brookfield—Brookfield East High School

Are you a Presidential Scholar for 2019? Or if you know one, write to us at We would like to share your journey.

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