See more of the story

Two Minnesota students — both from Maple Grove — are among the 161 high school seniors nationwide to be honored as U.S. Presidential Scholars.

Stavya Arora of Maple Grove High School and Matthew Chen of Wayzata High School join an elite group recognized for academic success, artistic and technical excellence, and community service and leadership.

"U.S. Presidential Scholars have always represented the future of our country and the bright promise it holds," U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement Wednesday. "I want each of these remarkable students to know: Your passion and intellect, pursuit of excellence and spirit of service are exactly what our country needs."

The national program was created in 1964, and its recipients include a male student and female student from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and families living abroad, along with 15 students chosen at-large, 20 in the arts and 20 in career and technical education.

The honorees represent a small portion of the more than 5,000 students who qualified for the award — and an even smaller sliver of the approximately 3.7 million students who are graduating from high school this year.

The 2023 class will be lauded this summer in an online recognition program.