One student each from Brookfield East and Brookfield Central High schools are in the running for one of the highest academic honors available to graduating seniors.

Brookfield East's Colin Gray-Hoehn and Brookfield Central's Eugene Kim have been named as two of the 5,000 candidates for the 2017 class of the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

The program has been active for 53 years will eventually narrow its search from 5,000 candidates to 161 Presidential Scholars.

There are three paths to becoming a Presidential Scholar. Most students are selected based on their broad academic achievement and high scores on either the SAT or ACT. Approximately 20 students are also selected based on their abilities in the fine arts such as visual arts, performing arts or creative writing and 20 more qualify based on their accomplishments in career and technical education fields.

Application to the program is by invitation only. Students are not able to apply on their own and schools are not able to make nominations. Each Chief State School Officer is allowed to nominate ten male and ten female candidates.

Gray-Hoehn and Kim are among only 80 candidates from Wisconsin in the running to be Presidential Scholars this year.

Students are required to submit an application along with a variety of other materials which will then be reviewed by a panel of educators. The panel will select 800 semifinalists in April and the Commission on Presidential Scholars, appointed by the President, will select finalists. The U.S. Department of Education will announce up to 161 Presidential Scholars in May.

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