Sri Lankan American Ruwanthi Ekanayake of Torrance, California and Reshini D Premaratne of Glen Allen, Maryland were among 60 people nominated as 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts by the National YoungArts Foundation. YoungArts selected the 60 high school seniors from 20 states representing 10 artistic disciplines.
“YoungArts is thrilled to nominate these outstanding YoungArts winners for this year’s U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, as they have all gone above and beyond to become leaders in their schools and communities,” YoungArts vice president of artistic programs Lisa Leone said in a statement.
In total, YoungArts nominated actors, dancers, singers, classical and jazz musicians, photographers, filmmakers, visual artists, designers, and writers.
The candidates will be reviewed by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, and the commission will, in turn, select 20 nominees as scholars for their achievements artistically and academically, as well as their leadership responsibilities, community service, and outreach initiatives.
Scholar semifinalists will be announced by mid-April. Winners will be named by early May. The art scholars will join the 141 other Presidential Scholars for the national recognition program in Washington, D.C