Every year, the White House names two Presidential Scholars from every state, and in 2014 the honor is going to two Lexington students.
From the same high school, no less.
Paul Lawrence Dunbar can claim both recipients as its own this year. One of the award winners, Athena Kern, found out she was chosen when her mom texted her during English class.
"I was very excited and surprised," she says.
The honor came after a series of submissions – applications, essays, teacher recommendations – and Kern says she was aware of some very stiff competition, even among her own classmates.
As it turns out, one of her fellow Dunbar students did make the cut. Joseph Schneider will also be invited to travel to Washington, D.C. for the medal presentation ceremony in June.
For now, Kern says she’s not certain what doors the award might open.
"I'm not really entirely sure what it will mean for my education, but I'm guessing it will be helpful for stuff like getting into graduate school or maybe internships," she says.
Launched in 1964 under President Lyndon Johnson, the Presidential Scholars program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.