A North Greene High School student has been named a candidate in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. 18 year old Sarah McEvers of White Hall recently found out she was one of 4,500 students who are nominees to the program out of a field of 3.6 million students across the country
McEvers says she glad to represent rural Illinois and Greene County: “It makes me proud to say that I’m from a small town in America. I feel like a lot of times you see these awards go to those kids that attend huge schools that have a lot more opportunities than small town kids do. I’m just proud to represent where I am from.”
Candidates for the program are selected on academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character, and community involvement. The 4,500 candidates will be evaluated later this month by a panel of educators, who will select 600 semifinalists in April. The Commission on Presidential Scholars then will select up to 161 finalists. If McEvers is selected, she will have an opportunity to visit Washington D.C. in June for various events and activities through the program before being presented with a medallion at a banquet. McEvers says she has several requirements to meet, including writing a series of essays, before the next deadline for the semifinals in a few weeks.
McEvers says she’s got future plans of staying in the area and continuing to work for and represent her hometown: “I think as all of us do, we say we want to move away as far as we can; but then as I got to thinking about it, I can’t imagine not being able to come home and see my parents and see my family, and just being home. So, I’ve decided to attend SIUE in the Fall. I’m going to major in secondary education to be a history teacher. Both of my parents are teachers, as well. I would like to have a minor in dance and a minor in business. Right now, I’m in the Greene-Calhoun CEO Program and that has exposed me to the business world. I decided that I really like that, too so I want to minor in it to give myself some opportunities after I graduate college.”
McEvers says she’s been amazed by the amount of community support she’s received: “It’s overwhelming to see the amount of support that I have received. Both of my parents posted it on Facebook. I think Facebook is one of the places I’ve received the most support and the means that most people have congratulated me. It has been people that you wouldn’t know would be proud of you for something like this, and it’s amazing to see it honestly – that our community comes together to support those in the community doing big things.”
For now, as a senior at North Greene High School, McEvers continues to work and volunteer in the community. She currently participates in volleyball, is president of the National Honor Society, and runs a pop-up boutique store in White Hall twice a month. She was crowned Miss Greene County Days in 2018. McEvers is the daughter of Amber Nash and Chuck McEvers, both teachers at North Greene High School.