THE U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by presidential decree, to recognize and honor our nation’s most distinguished high school graduates. Max Aulwes, Alan Mo, and Sreeya Pittala are three of the recipients of the 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program for Excellence in Career and Technical Education (CTE). They took the time to check in, answer our questions, and share with us their experiences from CTE High School and beyond.
The Office of Vocational, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) asked: Sreeya, what do you want others to know about ETC?
CTE career guidance is very helpful as it teaches you many soft skills (employability skills) that you wouldn’t learn in a classroom. The level of commitment will prepare you for many opportunities down the road.
OCTAE asked: Alan, why do you think attending CTE classes in high school is important?
CTE offers a wide range of activities to provide students with the skills required in industry and makes academic content accessible to students by providing it in a practical context. CTE education provides students with the opportunity to explore career options and gain the skills and technical knowledge needed to work toward industry-recognized certifications and high-demand careers.
OCTAE asked: how did your CTE teachers guide your interest in these pathways?
Max credits his CTE education teacher with being one of the most important plays of his high school career. She constantly pushed me out of my comfort zone when I needed to; and encouraged me every step of the way.
Sreeya’s teacher encouraged her and her classmates to follow their passion. My teacher asked what we were passionate about and urged us to explore that subject or profession more. My teacher always saw potential in me and never stopped encouraging me to take on new challenges and seize new opportunities.
Max, Alan and Sreeya put it best when discussing the role of their CTE teacher:
As a freshman in college taking entry-level business courses, the knowledge I already have in class is fantastic. All of this is credited to the incredible dedication and hard work of my teachers. I wish I had been more grateful to them in high school. -Max
I thrive in college fully covered by scholarships in a major I love. I only hope that I will be as good a technical expert as Mr. Robert Fox. We stay in touch even when I leave high school and enter academia. –Alan
Ms. Mundell – Thank you for making your students’ education a priority. Your support has been one of the most outstanding aspects of my entire high school experience and I will be forever grateful to you. –Sreeya
The take-out sale
These students thrived in their high school CTE programs and applied the lessons they learned in their post-secondary experiences. None of this would have been possible without the excellent CTE educators who helped them along the way. These students are already leaders in their field and well equipped to achieve their ambitious goals. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.
THE U.S. Presidential Scholars Program annually rewards distinguished senior graduates. The program began in 1964 by executive order. In 2015, the program began recognizing students who excel in career and technical education.