Park Forest-(ENEWSPF)- Zach Abbott, a Park Forest resident and Rich East High School senior, has been nominated for the prestigious U.S. Presidential Scholars Program award.
Abbott is among six students from across Illinois — three boys and three girls — who have been nominated, The program, established in 1964, by President Lyndon Johnson, recognizes some America’s most distinguished graduating seniors.
Students are nominated by representatives from their individual schools, with those recommendations then submitted to the state superintendent of schools for review.
With that in mind, Abbott certainly has a strong list of credentials. He is currently atop the class of 2014, Cumulatively, his grade point average is a weighted 4.4 on a 4-point scale, and he is involved in many school activities. Moreover, he only is he also ranks sixth in the State of Illinois.
But, every process has a humble beginning.
Abbott said he was asked by Rich East principal Mark Kramer to apply for the award. Abbott also had numerous letters of reference written about him by teachers and other staff members at Rich East. Abbott said he was very surprised, when he was told by Kramer, that the committee, and the Illinois Superintendent of Schools, has selected him as a finalist.
“Mr. Kramer first approached me about it, and asked me to write a short essay about my life and my achievements in order for him to nominate me,” Abbott said.
“In terms of my level of excitement, about this nomination, words cannot describe it,” he added. “The honor of simply being recognized and nominated is truly astounding to me.”
Abbott, and the other five finalists from Illinois, will soon be flown to Washington, D.C., for the first of two initial interviews with the national committee. Kramer said he was extremely happy for Abbott, and added the honor is well-deserved and that he is up and ready for the challenge.
“Zach is ready and will represent himself, his family and Rich East very well,” Kramer said. “This is a tremendous honor for him.”