The Presidential Scholars Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) founded in 1989 to support the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Its mission is to raise complementary private sector funding, support the U.S. Presidential Scholars Alumni Association, and raise public awareness for the program.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Alumni Association was founded in 1996 to organize the thousands of alumni and make the Presidential Scholars experience once that lasts a lifetime. The Alumni Association organizes local gatherings around the country, promotes social and professional networking, organizes alumni panels for National Recognition Weekend, facilitates mentoring of younger alumni by older alumni, and generally works to bolster the alumni community. Each class of Scholars holds vast depths of potential, purpose and dedication to high ideals. Alumni range from a Pulitzer Prize winner to a Tony Award nominee; a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" recipient to a National Poet Laureate; one of Fortune Magazine's most powerful women in corporate America to the Governor of Indiana; a Miss America to the youngest-ever member of the President's Council of Economic Advisors.
The US Presidential Scholars Program is a government program administered by White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the U.S. Department of Education to recognize and provide leadership development opportunities for some of America's most outstanding graduating high school seniors. Each Summer, the 141 Presidential Scholars travel to Washington, D.C. as guests of the program for National Recognition Weekend during which they partake in a broad range of educational, celebratory and fellowship activities. Scholars participate in seminars, lectures and workshops with government officials, elected representatives, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other accomplished people; perform community service; and attend cultural events and ceremonies held in their honor. During the weekend they forge friendships that often last a lifetime. The weekend culminates in a White House-sponsored event at which the Scholars are awarded the Presidential Medallion.
The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is not a scholarship program, but it is one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.