DRACUT -- Between winning the Boston Regional Brain Bee on Feb. 1 and heading to Harvard University in September, Dracut High School senior and Class of 2014 Valedictorian, Brittany Petros, has an excellent chance to get invited to Washington in June as a U.S. Presidential Scholar.
Petros is one of 565 semifinalists in the 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, the Department of Education announced this week.
Petros was one of 15 Massachusetts students to be selected as a semifinalist from the original field of 4,000 applicants, "on the basis of superior achievements, leadership qualities, personal character, and involvement in school and community activities," according to the DOE's public affairs office.
The final selection of at least one scholar from each state will be made by the Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of eminent citizens appointed by President Barack Obama, with the chosen scholars names to be announced in May.
The winning scholars will be invited to Washington in June to receive their U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a recognition ceremony sponsored by the White House, and to participate in various activities in the nation's capital held in their honor.
Petros, 18, was honored for her Brain Bee victory by the Dracut School Committee on Feb. 10. She told the School Committee that she intends to continue studying neuroscience at Harvard, and plans to work toward earning a combined M.D./Ph.D degree, enabling her to do clinical patient care and laboratory research, as both a practicing doctor and scientist, she said.
Petros is the oldest of three children of parents Richard and Lucia Petros.
"Brittany is just one of those children who is very motivated and self-driven. She always has been since she was a young child," Lucia Petros said. "Both her father and I are very proud of her, and thrilled she has accomplished so much in her young life. Every time we might think she has done everything she can do, she does more."
The other 14 Massachusetts students named as semifinalists in the 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program were: Erin Orbey, of Acton, Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School; Liam Gallagher, Amesbury High School; Tiffany Guan, of Canton, Milton Academy; Ming Wang, of Lexington, The Winsor School; Jessica Zhu, Lexington High School; Connor McCann, of Lincoln, Concord Academy; Ida Xu, Medfield High School; Andrew Duehren, of Needham, Boston College High School; Nathan Rosin, Needham High School; Christopher Naughton, of North Easton, Oliver Ames High School; Jenna McKenney, of Norwell, Notre Dame Academy; Nicholas Metzger, Norwell High School; Timothy Clancy, of Rehoboth, Wheeler School; Carlo Bocconcelli, of Woods Hole, Falmouth Academy.
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