By Matt Montgomery
Piedmont High School senior Gabrielle “Gabbi” Allen was recently named a candidate for the U.S. Presidential Scholars program as well as Oklahoma Academic All-State. She is representing Piedmont in both programs.
Allen is one of more than 3,000 candidates nationwide in the Presidential Scholars program.
The candidates were selected from nearly 3.4 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in 2014.
“I’ve always been good at this academic stuff,” Allen said. “But it’s not the easiest thing. This stuff is based more off of your ACT score.”
Allen scored a 35 on her ACT out of a possible 36.
She is actively involved in Piedmont High School’s Color Guard as the Color Guard captain and weapon line member. She has been in Color Guard for five years.
Allen has also been in the Piedmont varsity Winter Guard for four years and was in Piedmont Middle School Winter Guard for one year.
She is also a National Honor Society member and a French Club member.
Some of Allen’s academic achievements while at Piedmont High School include being the student with the highest grade in English 1 in May 2013, highest grade in French 1 in May 2011, Most Outstanding Member of the Piedmont varsity Winter Guard, top 10 percentile of the Oklahoma Honors Society, student with the highest grade in History 1 in May 2013, and second highest grade in both Advanced Placement (AP) English Language and Psychology.
Allen said she has applied to several colleges across the country and is awaiting results from those schools. She said she really enjoys learning about math and has aspirations of being a mathematician or a math professor someday.
She has applied to the University of Tulsa, Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., University of Chicago or Columbia in New York, N.Y. She applied to these schools because she said they were the best fit for her.
“I want to be the best,” she said. “I went and toured Chicago and Washington this summer and they were beautiful and everyone there is smart and hard working and those are the people I want to be surrounded with.”
Allen said she really enjoys reading novels when she isn’t doing school work. She enjoys reading John Green and is reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower right now.
The Commission on Presidential Scholars, a group of up to 32 eminent citizens appointed by the President, will make final selection of the scholars. They will select one young man and one young woman from each state, They will announce the scholars in May. Scholars will be invited to Washington,, D.C. for several days in June to receive the Presidential Scholars Medallion at a recognition ceremony where they will get to meet President Barack Obama.
Each year, up to 141 students are named U.S. Presidential Scholars, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.
Test scores in each of the states are reviewed, and a total SAT score is compared to the ACT Sum of Scores.
In each state, scores are ranked from high to low. Approximately 20 females and 20 males are selected as candidates from each state. Application is by invitation only; students do not apply individually to the program, nor do schools nominate them.