A trio of recently graduated LDS high school students have been selected as U.S. Presidential Scholars.
On June 21, Sam Brinton, Darren Eldredge and Alyson Gigger were presented U.S. Presidential medallions by President Barack Obama at a ceremony at the White House in Washington, D.C. They were joined by 138 fellow scholars from around the nation who also received the award, given each year to a select number of high school seniors.
President Obama praised the students for their scholastic achievement, service and leadership. The president shook hands with each recipient before presenting them with their medallions.
For the past 46 years, the White House has selected U.S. Presidential Scholars from among students who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service and contributions to their school and community.
"These student leaders and scholars show that setting high expectations and striving for excellence pays off," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "Their academic and artistic achievements reflect a sense of purpose that we should seek to instill in all students to prepare them for college, careers, civic responsibilities and the challenges of today's job market."
Sam Brinton, 18, Federal Heights Ward, Salt Lake Emigration Stake, recently graduated first in his class at Salt Lake City's East High School, where he served as student body president. Sam played on East High's tennis team and participated in choir. Service projects have taken Sam to five continents. A recent seminary graduate, he will attend Harvard University.
Darren Eldredge, 17, Bayreuth Branch, Nuremberg Germany Stake, also finished at the top of his class at Vilseck High School, a U.S. Department of Defense school. Darren captained Vilseck's soccer, tennis and wrestling teams and plays a variety of musical instruments. He will continue his education at Brigham Young University.
Alyson Gigger, 18, Pocatello Highland 3rd Ward, Pocatello Idaho Highland Stake, is a graduate of Idaho's Century High School, where she captained the Lincoln-Douglas debate team. Alyson enjoys talking politics and helped organize fundraisers to assist the victims of the recent earthquake in Chile. She will enroll at BYU in the fall.