Recent graduate Josephine Chu visited the White House last month during the U.S. Presidential Scholars National Recognition Weekend. First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the group of 141 highly accomplished high school graduates and posed for a photo with the students.
“As soon as it was over, I ran around to the front to shake her hand,” Chu said.
Over the course of her visit to Washington, Chu had the opportunity to get to know her fellow 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars with diverse backgrounds and talents – including a scholar who survived cancer, one who played Frisbee with Tibetan monks and another who built houses in Africa.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke to the students at a medallion ceremony in the Andrew W. Mellow Auditorium.
“After the ceremony, I went out into the audience to greet my family and chemistry teacher, Ms. Thompson, whom I nominated as a Distinguished Teacher,” Chu said. “It meant so much to me that they were there to support me that weekend.”
The scholars discussed the meaning of citizenship, watched the Presidential Scholars in the Arts perform at the Kennedy Center and visited the U.S. Capitol to hear from Joe Kennedy, Raul Ruiz and other congressmen.
“It was truly an honor to share that unforgettable weekend with all those extraordinary young men and women,” said Chu, who will attend Cornell University this fall. “It was so inspiring to hear their stories and ambitions; they motivate me to work harder and aim higher everyday.”
Read more about Chu’s visit in the upcoming issue of the Bulletin, Tower Hill’s alumni magazine.