Arpie Bakhshian, a senior from Lynbrook High School was recently selected by the New York State Education Department as one of only 25 seniors from throughout the state to be nominated in the prestigious 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The U.S. Presidential Scholar honor is one of the nation’s highest for high school students.
Graduating seniors are selected annually by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars based on several categories. This includes academic success, artistic excellence, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, community service, leadership abilities and their commitment to high ideals. Lynbrook High School and New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky recommended Arpie for the honor due to her impressive academic achievements, leadership and school involvement.
“To have a student nominated is a wonderful thing,” said Lynbrook High School Principal Joseph Rainis. “While there are a number of students who I believe could be considered to be nominees, I know that Arpie’s academics, artistic abilities, involvement in science research and community service, exemplifies the type of young person that any community would be proud of. I think it’s really great that Arpie is Lynbrook High School’s nominee. It’s very fitting.”
Arpie is currently enrolled in all Advanced Placement courses and is part of the school’s Science Research Program. She is a member of the National Honor Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society and is the Vice-President of the National Math Honor Society and a board member of the Science National Honor Society. Furthermore, she is involved in Science Olympiad and was captain of the varsity tennis team for singles.
Arpie also has a strong passion for music and is a talented violin player. She was selected as one of only 20 Long Island Scholar Artists for 2019-20 in the Long Island Arts Alliance Scholar Artist program. She is a valued member of the school’s chamber orchestra and pit orchestra, and has been part of the Long Island Youth Orchestra since the seventh grade. For the past two years, she served as the Long Island Youth Orchestra’s concert master. In addition, Arpie has performed in noteworthy music festivals such as those by the Long Island String Festival Association, Nassau Music Educators Association and the New York State School Music Association.
She takes pride in giving back to the Lynbrook community by volunteering at Sportime, teaching young kids how to play tennis. Arpie also connects to her Armenian roots by volunteering with the Armenian Prelacy of New York’s Orphan Sponsorship Program in New York City. The program links sponsors in America with orphans in Armenia. Arpie receives the thank you letters that the orphans write to their sponsors and helps translate them.
She will continue on in the U.S. Presidential Scholars program with the hope of becoming one of approximately 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars. Semifinalists are expected to be notified in mid-April with Scholars being notified in May. If selected, Arpie will receive a trip to Washington, D.C. in June 2020 where she will receive a medallion during a ceremony sponsored by the White House.