Island student is finalist for Presidential Scholarship Program

COURTESY PHOTO

Shelter Island High School senior Mia Clark has been selected by the New York State Education Department as one of 25 students in the state who will vie to be honored by the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Ms. Clark was one of three East End students nominated for the honor by Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor), who announced her selection today. State Education Department Commissioner MaryEllen Elia selected Ms. Clark for the honor.

“I am delighted that Commissioner Elia has chosen one of my local students to be part of the 25 New York State high school seniors nominated for the program,” Mr. Thiele said. He called her “an outstanding scholar” with strong leadership qualities, compassion and extraordinary personal achievements.

“I am pleased to represent this fine young woman in the First Assembly District and wish her luck as she moves to the national level as a finalist in this notable competition,” Me. Thiele said.

The Presidential Scholars Program was established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and recognizes high school seniors on the basis of outstanding scholarship.

Seniors’ grade point averages aren’t calculated until the end of the third quarter, but Ms. Clark had a 96.78 average  at the end of her junior year in high school.

Ms. Clark was inducted into the National Honor Society as a junior and is president of the school’s chapter. She has been class treasurer for the past two years.

An accomplished equestrian, last year she was varsity captain of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association. She has been involved in daily horse care, including attending to special needs of retired horses at Hampshire Farms.

As a farm hand there, she has been responsible for overseeing the well being of horses one or two nights a week.

Last year, Ms. Clark participated in a veterinary career exploration program at Cornell Cooperative Extension.

She has been a leader at the “Art in the Garden” program, teaching children drawing techniques. She has also worked as a deck hand and office assistant at South Ferry and as a barista and cashier at White Hill Cafe.

The top 10 females and the top 10 males, along with five students in career and technical education from New York, are in the running for the honor.

Those selected from throughout the country will receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. in June and will be presented with U.S. Presidential Scholars medallions at a ceremony at the White House.

A fuller story will appear in a January issue.

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