Diana Chou, of Fort Dodge Senior High, was named a candidate for the 2011 Presidential Scholars Program.
Now in its 47th year, the Presidential Scholars Program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating seniors in the United States.
Chou is one of more than 3,000 candidates invited to apply for the Presidential Scholars Program.
Candidates were chosen from 3.2 million seniors expected to graduate this year from U.S high schools.
"I feel honored to have been asked to apply," said Chou. "Senior year has been interesting. I took some AP classes, took my extracurriculars, especially in music. But with the college applications and scholarships, it's been real busy."
Since her freshman year, Chou has had a 4.0 grade-point average and is involved in band, orchestra, Model U.N. and Junior Civitan. She is also a part of the Karl King Municipal Band and the Fort Dodge Area Symphony.
To advance to the semifinals, Chou had to write an essay on someone who means a great deal to her and why. Chou chose to write her essay on a good friend who is having severe health problems and whose friendship has affected her life.
In April, a panel of educators will review the submissions and select 500 semifinalists.
Candidates will be evaluated on their academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and service activities, as well as the quality and content of their essays.
If chosen, Chou will be invited to Washington, D.C., this June, for an award ceremony where she will receive a Presidential Scholars medallion.
Chou said she is still undecided about where she is going to attend college next year, but hopes to attend Amherst College in Massachusetts.