We are exceptionally proud to announce that Exeter senior and Berks Career & Technology Center (BCTC) student Alysabeth Rivera has been selected as a U.S. Presidential Scholar candidate in Career & Technical Education (CTE) by the U.S. Department of Education. Alysabeth is the only U.S. Presidential Scholar candidate in Berks County, and one of only two CTE candidates in Pennsylvania. Mr. Roger Voit, who is a Business Management and Entrepreneurship Instructor at BCTC, nominated Alysabeth for this prestigious award to Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education, who selected Alysabeth as a U.S. Presidential Scholar candidate for meeting the exceptionally stringent criteria, which includes her academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Alysabeth will now go through further evaluation to be hopefully selected as a semifinalist in April. If she advances, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars will select up to 161 finalists, who will then be honored and recognized at a ceremony at the White House in June. According to the U.S. Department of Education, being selected as a scholar is one of the nation's highest honors for high school students, who represent excellence in education and the promise of greatness in young people.
Mr. Voit said that the moment he found out that Alysabeth had been selected as a candidate was a “wow!” moment that he couldn’t wait to share with her, her family and the BCTC community. “This is the first student that I have nominated for this prestigious award. Because of the rigorous requirements for being selected, it takes a very special student and mindset to even be nominated let alone selected,” said Mr. Voit. “Alysabeth not only fulfills all the requirements for the selection criteria, she also models the leadership traits necessary to hold this position, which is one of the highest honors our nation’s high school students may receive… I’m a very proud teacher right now.”
Alysabeth, who is the daughter of Iris and Harry Rivera, is a National Technical Honors Society Student, Student Ambassador and SkillsUSA National and Pennsylvania winner in the field of entrepreneurship. At BCTC, she’s won a variety of local, state and national virtual enterprise competitions in which she serves as the CEO of an e-commerce virtual company. At Exeter, she’s a co-founder of the Aevidum Club, President of Gay Straight Alliance Club and a Gold and Silver Eagle Award winner. She’s also almost completed her associate’s degree at Reading Area Community College in Business Administration through dual enrollment courses. Alysabeth, who studies Business Management Entrepreneurship at BCTC, hopes to study business at Syracuse University or the University of Notre Dame in the fall, with the goal of working in international business following graduation.
Alysabeth said she was shocked to hear that she had been nominated and selected as a candidate. “I can’t honestly put it into words,” she said. “I don't know if I'll make it past any other stage, but it's still such a significant honor.”
Established in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program serves to recognize and honor distinguished graduating high school seniors each year. 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, such as Alysabeth.
Exeter is exceptionally proud of Alysabeth, and we hope you’ll join us in congratulating her for this extremely high honor! We wish her all the best as she continues through the application process in the hopes of being named a finalist in June! Congratulations!