District residents Jacqueline A. Berrien, Jamin B. Raskin and Maria A. Sullivan are among 121 students who have been chosen from the nation's outstanding graduating high school seniors as Presidential Scholars.
The Presidential Scholars Award was established in 1964 by executive order. Each year, one boy and one girl are selected from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and from American families living abroad. An additional 15 scholars are selected at large.
High school seniors who ranked highest on nationally administered pre-college examinations are potential candidates. The final selection is made by the Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of private citizens appointed by the president, on the basis of academic excellence, leadership and accomplishment in areas such as the visual and performing arts.
The scholars will visit Washington from June 17 to 20 as guests of the White House and the U.S. Office of Education. They will receive Presidential Scholars medallions in a White House ceremony, attend seminars, meet their elected officials and visit historic sites.
Like the other winners, Raskin, 16, of 1820 Wyoming Ave. NW, was delighted to be chosen. "In a way it feels a little bit like being elected president," he said. He will graduate Sunday from Georgetown Day High School. This fall he'll begin studying political science and government at Harvard, where he will be the youngest freshman, Raskin said. His mother, Barbara, is a novelist, and his father, Marcus, is a political philosopher.
Raskin visited Cuba two years ago on an international exchange program sponsored by the United Nations and has won high school letters in football and soccer. He worked in Marion Barry's campaign last summer and now works as a City Hall intern in Barry's office.
Berrien, 17, of 626 Geranium St. NW, will graduate Friday from Connelly School of the Holy Child in Potomac. Her mother, Anna, is a registered nurse, and her father, Clifford, is a pharmacist. She plans to attend Oberlin College in Ohio and major in communications.
She was a student council member for three years and class president in her junior year. She plays the flute and piano and has been a member of the school chorus for four years and the D.C. Youth Wind Ensemble for three years. She is vice president of the Washington Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Youth, and was a member of the "It's Academic" team this year.
Berrien has won a $1,500 Century Three Leaders Program scholarship, a $1,000 National Achievement scholarship and a $500 scholarship from the Citizens Scholarship Foundation. She has been working part-time as a file clerk and typist at the Bureau of Alcohol, tobacco and Firearms, and occasionally works as a clerk at a dry cleaning store.
Sullivan, 17, of 4514 Connecticut Ave. NW, graduated last month from Immaculata Preparatory High School and will attend Harvard, majoring in biological anthoropology. Her mother, Lea Engel, is an assistant principal at Roosevelt Senior High School. Her father, C. Meryl, is a retired trade association executive.
Sullivan has won several honorary awards for academic excellence and trophies from the National Rifle Association for performance in national competition. She is vice president of the Washington Junior Academy of Science and the Immaculata Science Club. She is the founder and editor of Pensez Francais, the school's French journal, and has participated in the school's concert chorus for the past four years. She has also participated in drama productions of the Chevy Chase Community Center and Immaculata Children's Theater.
She works part-time as a bilingual cashier at the Hechinger Company.
Maryland winners are David Innis, of Hyattsville, a student at Northwestern High School, and Sharon Gray, of Rockville, a student at Rockville High School.
Suburban Virginia winners are David Tanzer, of Arlington, a student at Yorktown High School; James Hamilton, of Alexandria, a student at St. Stephens School, and Elizabeth Kiss, of Alexandria, a student at Fort Hunt High School. CAPTION: Picture, Jamin Raskin, Jacqueline Berrien and Maria Sullivan By Gerald Martineau - The Washington Post