Sawyer was one of only 141 American college students selected for the United States Presidential Scholarship, one of the nation's highest academic honors. He received the award at a ceremony in Washington, DC, in June as part of a recognition week for the scholars, the highlight of which was an opportunity to meet President Clinton.
"We shook hands and he asked me where I was going to college," recalled Sawyer, a Gouldsboro, Pa. resident. "I told him BC and we talked about it for a few minutes. It was pretty amazing. The whole experience was a real confidence booster, which was welcome as I thought about the prospect of embarking on a new educational experience."
Sawyer was among 2,600 US students with exceptionally high Scholastic Aptitude Test scores who were invited to apply for the award. Winners were selected by the Commission on Presidential Scholars, based on their accomplishments in academics, art, leadership and involvement in school and the community.
Samuel Sawyer is one of 11 freshmen to win Presidential Scholarships at BC and one of just 141 American college students to win United States Presidential Scholarships.
While Sawyer excelled in academics during high school, placing first in a national math competition and earning high honors at an international chemistry contest, he compiled an impressive record in extracurricular activities as well. He served as editor of his school paper and organized a field trip for 120 of his classmates last year. He also volunteered as a Sunday school teacher at his local parish.
Sawyer is one of 11 new members of the University's Presidential Scholars program, which selects high school students from the top 2 percent of college applicants nationally who have demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership and community service. A double major in biochemistry and computer science, he already has earned 36 college credits at the University of Scranton, and plans to enter the medical research field.
Receiving the US Presidential Scholar award has redoubled Sawyer's desire to serve his community. "The breakdown of communities is the root cause of most other problems," he said, "and I think each person carries an intrinsic obligation to help build a strong community structure so all people can succeed."
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