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Kamehameha senior, homeschooled Maui teen named as Presidential Scholars

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A Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama senior and a homeschooled Maui student have been named 2015 U.S. Presidential Scholars for Hawaii.

The students, Sierra Hirayama of Kaneohe and Jack Wolfgramm of Hana, Maui, are among 141 high school seniors nationwide being recognized for their academic and community service accomplishments, the U.S. Department of Education announced Monday.

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and from U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 students chosen at-large.

The department said in a news release that of the 3 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 4,300 candidates qualified for the awards, which are based SAT and ACT scores and nominations.

Hirayama and Wolfgramm were among six semifinalists for Hawaii, including finalists from public schools Roosevelt and Kaiser, and private schools Punahou School and Hawaii Preparatory Academy. (Wolfgramm is one of four home-schooled students nationwide to be named a winning scholar this year.)

“These scholars are poised to make their mark on our nation in every field imaginable,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement. “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.”

The recipients will be recognized in Washington, D.C., in June.

See the complete list of winners at ed.gov/programs/psp/2015/scholars.pdf.

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