(WFRV) – Four Wisconsin students, including one from northeastern Wisconsin, were among 161 high school seniors across the nation named U.S. Presidential Scholars.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, each year select students are recognized based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, community service, and leadership.

“Our 2022 Presidential Scholars represent the best of America, and remind us that when empowered by education, there are no limits to what our young people can achieve,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

And it seems some of the ‘best of America’ are living right here in the Badger state.

Out of the 3.7 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, four bright students from Wisconsin were recognized as U.S. Presidential Scholars. These students include:

  • Recipient: David E. Arthur
    • School: Marquette University High School
    • City: Milwaukee
  • Recipient: Daphne Joyce Wu
    • School: Middleton High School
    • City: Middleton
      • U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education
  • Recipient: Ananya Krishna
    • School: James Madison Memorial High School
    • City: Madison
  • Recipient: Cameron D. Pokorny from Waupun
    • School: Waupun Senior High School
    • City: Waupun
      • U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education

Representing northeastern Wisconsin as a U.S. Presidential Scholar is Cameron Pokorny of Waupun.

Pokorny, who is graduating valedictorian from Waupun Senior High School, says for him, this recognition means a great deal as it creates a space for his story to reach a larger audience- and hopefully inspire positive change.

“I aim to inspire youth and adults alike to recognize the tremendous impact that one person can have on the lives of others,” explained Pokorny.

And staying true to his words, Pokorny has single-handedly made a huge impact across his community.

Passionate about solving food insecurity issues in his rural community, Pokorny regularly grew, raised, and donated food to the local pantry. In 3 years, he reportedly provided weekly donations totaling more than $14,000.

Other contributions this bright and hardworking student has made include:

  • Advocating for rural broadband access as a National Tech Changemaker Spokesperson
  • STEM instructor
  • President of the Waupun Area FFA Chapter and National Honor Society
  • Founder of Waupun Senior High School’s Robotics Club
  • Member of the Wisconsin Ag. Youth council
  • Varsity cross country and track captain
  • 4-H youth leader

Pokorny has plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in pursuance of a career in automation engineering with an agriculture focus.

“My career goal is to revolutionize agriculture to make food production more efficient, environmentally sustainable, and less taxing on laborers,” shared Pokorny.

But before he heads out to achieve that goal, Pokorny is sharing some advice for younger generations of students looking to, like him, make positive changes within their respective communities:

“Be the change that they (you) wish to see in their (your) communities. If their (your) goal is to help others, then undoubtedly they (you) will, and proper recognition will be awarded for their (your) efforts. However, if they (your) focus (is) on the recognition before the mission, then they (you) will fail twofold.”

Cameron Pokorny