Louis Peacemaker Mukama, of Chicago, and Pavan Venkatesh Pandurangi, of Palatine, were named in the 57th class on Thursday, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Education.
"The 2021 Presidential Scholars represent extraordinary achievements for our extraordinary times," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "I am delighted to join President Biden in saluting these outstanding young people for their achievements, service, character and continued pursuit of excellence."
Mukama attends Phillips Exeter Academy, a college preparatory boarding school in New Hampshire. Pandurangi attends William Fremd High School in Palatine.
The honor, which is selected annually by the U.S. Department of Education, recognizes high school seniors for their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as community service, leadership and commitment to high ideals.
Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 6,000 qualified for the honor, according to the statement.
Officials said this year’s scholars will be recognized this summer.
A complete list of 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available online.
The Presidential Scholars Program medal. (U.S. Presidential Scholars Foundation)