Peekskill High School senior Valentina Loaiza flanked by her mother and State Sen. Terrence Murphy

Peekskill High School senior Valentina Loaiza was nominated for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Thursday at the high school, as Sen. Terrence Murphy presented her with a proclamation recognizing her academic achievements and outstanding community work. Joining Valentina was her mother, Board of Education Vice President Michael Simpkins, Superintendent Mary Foster and Peekskill High School Principal Rodney Arthur, among others.

“Valentina’s nomination for recognition in the U.S. Presidential Scholar Program has made us all very proud,” Murphy said. “She has already distinguished herself in the classroom and in the community. She is an exceptional young woman who is destined for great things in life.”

Valentina is one of just 25 New York State high school seniors nominated for the National Presidential Scholars Program—one of the nation’s highest honors a high school student can achieve. Every year, one young man and one young woman from each state are named presidential scholars.

Vice president of the Science Honor Society, Valentina boasts a grade point average of 99.69, which ranks first in her class of 247. Outside of the classroom, she volunteers with the ASPCA, Special Olympics, Peekskill Library and has tutored both children and adults. She also works with CUNY Citizenship Now, a free legal immigration service.

Editor’s Note: This information was provided by Sen. Terrence Murphy’s office.