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Millcreek Journal

Skyline High School student named U.S. Presidential Scholar

May 30, 2022 04:24PM ● By Lizzie Walie

By Lizzie Walje | [email protected]

Skyline High School student Alan Z. H. Mo of Murray has been awarded the prestigious Presidential Scholar award. Each year, students throughout the nation are handpicked, first as candidates and then as recipients, by members of The Commission on Presidential Scholars. The commission is comprised of eminent private citizens appointed directly by the sitting president. The members have expertise in the fields of education, medicine, law, social services, business, and other professions. It is the responsibility of the committee to find students who demonstrate exceptional academic acumen in a specific field of study.

Alan received recognition as a Presidential Scholar in the Career and Technical Education discipline. After expressing his immense gratitude for the recognition, he said his goal is to pursue a career in computer science.

Throughout his high school career, Alan attended both Skyline High School and programs through Utah’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways. Utah high school-aged students who meet the criteria can choose from a variety of CTE programs that ultimately provide the student with college credit and/or certifications in high-demand technical careers and jobs. Per their statement, “CTE provides all students access to high-quality, rigorous career-focused programs that result in attainment of credentials with labor market value.”

“Alan is a student who not only excels in an individual context, but he continually inspires and helps those around him,” a representative of Utah CTE said. “He is extraordinarily bright, with a genuine passion for the work that he does. He is a true example of what it means to be a revered student.”

Alan is one of four Utah students to receive a 2022 Presidential Scholar Award, besting nearly 3,000 other candidates in the state alone. When compared to the 3.7 million students anticipated to graduate this year, it makes his selection as a scholar all the more impressive. The Presidential Scholar award was first introduced in 1958 and since then nearly 7,900 students have been recognized.

U.S Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, spoke highly of the 161 students honored this year.

“Our 2022 Presidential Scholars represent the best of America, and remind us that when empowered by education, there are no limits to what our young people can achieve. I join President Biden [in celebrating] the class of scholars whose pursuit of knowledge, generosity of spirit, and exceptional talents bring our nation tremendous pride.”

Cardona also spoke to the difficulties that scholars have faced in these past couple of years, in particular, noting, “Throughout one of the most trying periods in our nation’s history and amid our recovery from the pandemic, our students have once again demonstrated their strength.”

Alan is one of the newer recipients to be recognized for his ability and accomplishment in the career and technical education field. In 2015, the commission decided to extend its scope by recognizing CTE students. His recognition underlines the importance of CTE students in the state and the nation at large. Many of these programs offered by CTE are diverse ranging from agriculture and architecture to hospitality and public safety. Naturally, these pathways represent the backbone of the American workforce, marking their acknowledgment as all the more impactful.

Cardona concluded by saying, “Our students have once again demonstrated their strength and that they have so much to contribute to our country. Thanks to them, I know America's future is bright."