Five FFA members were recently named U.S. Presidential Scholars — one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students — for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education. Each year, up to 161 students receive this honor.
The FFA members named as scholars are:
- Brooke Bradford, Clinton FFA, Arkansas
- Blake VanDeKamp, Diamond Trail FFA, Iowa
- Megan Rose Johnston, Boyle County FFA, Kentucky
- Hannah Johnson, Richland 44 FFA, North Dakota
- Lauren Stubbs, LaCrosse FFA, Washington
Established in 1964 by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson, the U.S. Presidential Scholars program was created to recognize the nation’s most distinguished high school graduating seniors. In 2015, the program was expanded to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education.
The 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of two students from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large. There are also 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education.
Overseen by the Commission on Presidential Scholars, the program is administered by staff at the U.S. Department of Education. The commission selects honored scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service and leadership.
“This recognition demonstrates the students’ ability to excel in their academic performance while making a positive difference in their schools and communities by leading,” said National FFA CEO Mark Poeschl. “As an FFA member, these students have gone above and beyond set expectations. They are living out the mission and vision of the organization each day; they are our future innovators and our future leaders. And we are immensely proud of their accomplishments.”
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to more than 700,000 student members who belong to one of the more than 8,600 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by more than 8 million alumni and supporters throughout the U.S.