Madison West High School senior named 2020 Presidential Scholar

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- While the pandemic has put a damper on senior year for many high school students, two from Wisconsin got a treat this week.

Madison West High School senior, Dayi Ethan Dong is among 161 high school seniors named U.S. Presidential Scholars for 2020. The prestigious honor comes from the U.S Department of Education. It recognizes students for accomplishments in academics, leadership, and community involvement.

Dong says he found out he was chosen Thursday via email and couldn’t believe it. He says its an honor to be recognized for his hard work. He shared with NBC15 how he's been able to stay on track in school despite the pandemic. "What's really helped me stay on track stay motivated has just been the ability to realize just because this is happening doesn’t mean the world is going to end. the world moves forward," said Dong.

He plans to head to Yale University to study Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science, hopefully this fall if the pandemic allows. Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored more than 7,600 of the nations top-performing students.