MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Geethika Ameneni and Adrian Kwiakowski are seniors at Red Mountain High School. Both are students in the biotech program and they are two of five Arizona students that are finalists for the presidential scholar award.
"It was just such an honor to be recognized for all the work and commitment I put into these past four years," said Adrian Kwiakowski.
Finalists are judged on their academics, biotech participation and internships.
"Actually, CTE (Career and Technical Education) Presidential Scholars are distinguished by how much they been able to impact the CTE program in tech education in the community around them," said Kwiakowski.
The prestigious award is given to only 20 students from across the U.S. and has only been given to 7,500 students since it started by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.
"I would feel so honored to be able to represent not only my biotech program but my state and to represent the tech and biology studies that Arizona has to offer," said Ameneni.
They both have received multiple honors at various state and national competitions. Ameneni is planning to go to the University of Arizona to become a doctor and physician-scientist.
"I plan to study neuroscience and maybe molecular and cellular biology and also public health. I’m double majoring," said Ameneni.
Kwiakowski is heading to the University of Chicago, majoring in biology, and applied math to become a professional investigator.
"That's someone who has their own lab. They've gone into a Ph.D., even postdoc and now their running a team of laboratory technicians," said Kwiakowski.
The two will find out in the next few weeks if they will receive the honor.