GSSM Senior Named Semifinalist in 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

May 9, 2016

The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) is pleased to announce that graduating senior, Hamza Ahmed, has been named a semifinalist in the U.S. Presidential Scholarship Program.

Ahmed, son of Javed and Faria Ahmed of Greenville, South Carolina, transferred to GSSM from Southside High School.  

Ahmed is involved with the GSSM Math Team, actively participates in student council, was the co-president of Youth in Government, serves as a GSSM Natural Helper and is the secretary of GSSM’s chapter of National Honors Society. Ahmed also plays on the varsity soccer and basketball teams and was recently named MVP of the 2015-16 basketball season.

During the summer of 2015, through GSSM’s Research Experience Scholars Program, Ahmed completed extensive research on econophysics at the Korea Advanced Institute for Science and Technology in South Korea. He recently won first place for both his written and oral presentations at the South Carolina Junior Academy of Science meeting for this research in the consumer science category.

Next year, Ahmed will attend Washington University in St. Louis to study biochemistry.

“A couple months ago I would have never thought that I would be named a Presidential Scholar Semifinalist,” said Ahmed. “Sitting here today, I have assured myself that I will not fall to pieces if I do not make it to the next round, but I remain very hopeful, knowing that sometimes life does not take the expected course.”

Application to the U.S. Presidential Scholars program is by invitation only based on scores on the SAT or ACT exam or their nomination by a chief state school officer the year of their graduation from high school.

U.S. Presidential Scholars receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in June 2016 and the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House, in commemoration of their achievements. During their visit to D.C., scholars have access to important national and international figures. Scholars are provided opportunities to wrestle with issues that concern America and the world, attend recitals, receptions and ceremonies held in their honor, and visit area museums and monuments.

“I am delighted that Hamza Ahmed has been named a semifinalist for the U.S. Presidential Scholarship Program,” said Dr. Hector Flores, GSSM President. “This honor affirms the high quality of students we attract to GSSM and the outstanding academic and personal growth experiences we provide. We are very, very proud of Hamza.”

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars, one of the nation's highest honors for high school students.


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