Warren County High School senior Jacqueline Becerra has been selected as a finalist in the class of 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.
“Hard work truly pays off,” said Becerra. “I didn’t know what to feel when I was named a semifinalist. I’m thankful for the recognition. It was an honor. Winners are invited to Washington, D.C. in June. That would be a nice experience.”
She is one of 621 finalists selected from nearly 5,300 candidates expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in 2019. Statewide, Becerra was one of 14 students chosen and the only student from WCHS.
Inclusion in the program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Students are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.
Becerra has a GPA of 4.6 and will graduate as valedictorian of her class.
“I used to really, really love math because it was so solid and wonderful and I knew that I could depend on it,” she said. “As I’ve become more confident in my ability to disagree and agree, now my favorite subjects tend to be literature, history, items where there isn’t one answer and you have room to grow and debate with other people. I really enjoy AP U.S. History, AP Art History, and AP Literature, because they are classes where you can genially engage with other kids in the class.”
After graduation, Becerra will be attending one of the world’s top universities, Stanford, after being awarded a full scholarship of $315,620.
“I want to double major in linguistics and international relations,” said Becerra. “I think I’m very lucky in the sense that I know what I’m passionate about. I know that I really like linguistics and I know that I want to study a language every single quarter that I decide to embark in.”
The senior is active in BETA, Mu Alpha Theta, Quiz Bowl, and credits the school’s Model United Nations program for opening the door to her passion for linguistics and international relations.
Scholars will be announced in May. Winners are invited to Washington, D.C. in June to receive the Presidential Scholar Medallion at a recognition ceremony and to participate in events and activities.