Rancho Santa Fe resident Jayden Gillespie was recently recognized as one of 60 Presidential Scholar in the Arts candidates for this year. Nominated from over 11,000 participants in the annual YoungArts Competition, if chosen Jayden will be the first male African American high school student to have earned the honor.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 to recognize some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in academic success, leadership, and service to school and community. It was expanded in 1979 to recognize students demonstrating exceptional scholarship and talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. In 2015, it was expanded again to include students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical fields. For more information about the U.S. Presidential Scholars program visit www.ed.gov/programs/psp/awards.html.