BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Three Louisiana high school students were named among this year’s U.S. Presidential Scholars, the state Department of Education announced on Wednesday morning.

The three students recognized were identified as Baton Rouge Magnet High’s Daniel Z. Liu, Caddo Parish Magnet High’s Ananya Bhatia and Hammond High’s Khalil J. McKnight.

“Congratulations to these scholars on a remarkable achievement that places them among our nation’s best and brightest,” said State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley. “I’m proud to celebrate their success and look forward to the positive impact they can have as future leaders in our state.”

A total of 161 high school seniors were recognized for their achievements in academics, arts and career and technical education fields, according to LDOE.

“U.S. Presidential Scholars have always represented the future of our country and the bright promise it holds. I want each of these remarkable students to know: your passion and intellect, pursuit of excellence, and spirit of service are exactly what our country needs,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “On behalf of President Biden, I am delighted to join your family, friends, and communities in celebrating your accomplishments. Aim high, share your talents, and continue embracing opportunities to lead as your exciting future unfolds.” 

The U.S. Department of Education states that the program was created “to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in visual, literary and performing arts.” Officials said the program was later expanded to include recognition for students in career and technical education fields.