2 AAPS seniors are semifinalists in the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

Two AAPS high school seniors—Madeline A. Gupta of Pioneer and Michael H. Zhou of Skyline—are among the 625 semifinalists in the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars program. The semifinalists were selected from nearly 6,500 candidates expected to graduate from U.S. high schools this year.

The program is among the most prestigious in the country for high school seniors. Here is the complete list of semifinalists.

Madeline Gupta

Madeline Gupta

What you will always remember about your high school experience? 

I will always remember the community that I found in my school, and how much I loved being able to learn within a community. Collaboration and teamwork in the classroom was definitely something I was able to experience, and I’ll take with me those memories and that value to college. It surely sticks out as one of the biggest positive takeaways from college, even if it was lessened from being in a pandemic. 

What do you plan to do in the fall? 

This fall, I will attend Yale University and double major in Statistics with Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. I plan to continue education advocacy, especially for marginalized communities. I hope to work with the Association of Native Americans at Yale and with the Data Science department to study how numbers can be harnessed to impact communities and their access to education. 

How you feel about this honor? 

I’m so excited and honored to be a semifinalist for this award. It means a lot to me that the work I do is being seen as important to others, as my community and communities around the globe are so close to my heart. I definitely owe so much to the people around me for shaping me into the person I am and for making the work I do possible, so I am extremely grateful to them. 

Anyone you’d like to thank?

I’d first like to thank my ancestors, because it is their strength and resilience through centuries of oppression and gencoide that allows me to be here today on their lands. I’d also like to thank my family, teachers, and mentors, because they have taught me innumerable lessons and supported me along every step of the way.

Michael Zhou

What you will always remember about your high school experience? 

I will always remember the vibrant communities at Skyline. I cherish my experiences serving as drum major for Skyline’s marching band and the tight-knit band family there. Playing on varsity tennis and working with friends on DECA projects are some other unforgettable and deeply enriching experiences I had throughout high school. 

What do you plan to do in the fall? 

I’m excited to attend Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science in the fall.

How do you feel about this honor?

 I am very grateful to be named as a Presidential Scholars semifinalist. I’m looking forward to pursuing my passions in education, technology, and community service.

Anyone you’d like to thank?

I would like to thank all my teachers, counselors, mentors, friends, and family who have helped me along the way. Special thanks to Mrs. Hochrein, Mr. Smith, Ms. Kincaid, Mrs. Feliks, Mrs. Bezeau, Mr. Jones, Mrs. Vaughn, Coach Sturgis, Mr. Graham, Mrs. Schimmel, and Principal McElmeel. I would also like to thank Mr. Mohammed Hassani and Mr. Kulwarn Parmer of the Ann Arbor Math Olympiad Co-op for their inspiring service and leadership in our local community.

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