SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – The United States Department of Education announced two Upstate high school seniors as U.S. Presidential Scholars this week.

The United States Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona said the recipients represent the best of America and remind us that when people are empowered by education, there is no limit to what we can achieve.

Nyah Joudeh (Source: Greenville County Schools)

Nyah Joudeh is a senior at Riverside High School in Greenville County.

“Nyah truly is the epitome of a Riverside High School student. Not only is she reaching higher standards in the classroom; she tasks herself to be the best in all of her avenues. Her empathy for others is inspiring as she is steadily seeking ways to better her community, Riverside High School principal Darah Huffman said. “This amazing recognition serves as a reflection of Nyah’s commitment to her values, but it is merely a step in her lifelong quest of academia and medical service. We are honored to have Nyah as a student and future alumna of Riverside High School.”

William Maxwell Booker (Source: Spartanburg School District 7)

William Maxwell Booker is a senior at Spartanburg High School in Spartanburg County.

According to Spartanburg School District 7, Booker is the first African American student in Spartanburg High School history to be named a U.S. Presidental Scholar.

“Today, our Spartanburg High School Viking community stands a bit taller and shines a bit brighter because Maxwell Booker’s accomplishments reflect the collective investment and impact of our school, our district and our community,” said Dr. Vance Jones, Spartanburg High School principal. “As the first African American student from Spartanburg School District Seven to be named a United States Presidential Scholar, Maxwell is an example and inspiration for all children in our community.”

A senior from the Lowcountry was also announced as a U.S. Presidental Scholar.

Anna Brown is a senior at Beaufort High School in Beaufort County.

“Anna Brown is well-deserving of this prestigious honor of being selected as a 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar,” said Charity Summers, Beaufort High School principal. “Her hard work and dedication in her scholastic achievement has paid off for her through numerous recognitions and awards, but Anna’s academic achievements are not the only defining positive characteristic that she possesses. She has exemplary character, is an excellent athlete, and is a wonderful person. I am so proud of her!”

The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selected 161 scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership.