Two Omaha area high school seniors' successes in and out of the classroom have won them recognition as Presidential Scholars.
Megan Yank, who graduated last week from Papillion-La Vista South High School, and Ben Ashby, a senior at Westside High School, are the 2013 scholar recipients from Nebraska.
The award honors 141 seniors from across the country — one boy and one girl from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Americans living abroad, along with 15 at-large students and up to 20 students in the arts — for academic success, artistic excellence, essays, community service and leadership. The Iowa winners were from Ames and Iowa City.
The seniors were narrowed from a field of 3,300 who qualified for the award based on ACT and SAT scores and nominations.
Yank kept busy this year as president of Papillion-La Vista South's student council. She also has been involved in Honor Society and Spanish club and has participated in the University of Nebraska Medical Center's health sciences academy.
Yank plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she'll be in the honors program. She will major in biology and minor in Spanish.
“I want to be a trauma surgeon, so I plan to go to medical school right away,” Yank said.
Ashby plans to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and major in biomedical engineering. He's hoping to study Alzheimer's or another neurodegenerative disease.
His grandfather has Alzheimer's disease, which has contributed to his interest in the topic.
He enjoys playing the electric bass and is trying to teach himself to play piano. He was in jazz band last year and has been taking a college night class each semester, including high-level math and calculus.
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