CHS Senior Zoe Edwards Named US Presidential Scholar

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May 2021

Carmel resident and Carmel High School senior Zoe Edwards was recently named as part of the 57th class of the U.S. Presidential Scholars. She is one of 161 students from across the nation to earn this prestigious distinction and joins Homestead High School senior Kobe Chen as the two Indiana recipients.

The Selection Process

Scholars are selected annually based on academic achievement, artistic and technical excellence, essay submissions and school transcripts.

Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate this year, more than 6,000 candidates qualified for the 2021 awards, determined by exam scores or nominations. Edwards and the Presidential Scholars Class of 2021 will be recognized for this outstanding achievement this summer.

“The 2021 Presidential Scholars represent extraordinary achievements for our extraordinary times,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I am delighted to join President Biden in saluting these outstanding young people for their achievements, service, character and continued pursuit of excellence. Their examples make me proud and hopeful about the future. Honoring them can remind us all of the great potential in each new generation and renew our commitment to helping them achieve their dreams.”

Serving as the CHS Mock Trial Club president, Edwards was preparing for mock trial competition when she learned that she had been selected.

“I still don’t know to this day who nominated me and how I got into that pool of 6,000,” Edwards humbly stated. “I was at home [when I found out]. I was participating in the National High School Mock Trial Championship, and it was literally 15 minutes before the first round of competition when my mom came down the stairs and said, ‘I’m getting calls from the people at the school—do you know what’s going on?’ So, I went and checked my email, and that’s when I saw the email that I’d been selected as a Presidential Scholar. For there to be two people in the whole state of Indiana to be selected and to be the only woman chosen from Indiana was very surreal.”

A Civic and Community-Minded Youth

Beyond her academic achievements, Edwards consistently demonstrates a commitment to her community through service work and volunteering. She maintains leadership roles in diverse groups such as the Carmel Mayor’s Youth Council, Science for Caring, Teen Library Council, Model United Nations and, as previously mentioned, the mock trial championship.

 Zoe Edwards Named US Presidential Scholar

“There’s so many great things about the Carmel Mayor’s Youth Council,” Edwards shared. “One of my favorite things has been our ability to meet with different city officials from the Street and Parks Departments and with City Council members, learning about the roles that they play in making Carmel such a great community.”

As part of the youth council’s community give-back efforts, Edwards has served as the bike manager of the Carmel Farmers Market Bike Parking Program.

“I’ll be passing the torch to the new manager, but this [experience] has been great for me,” Edwards expressed. “[The program] is a tangible effect that the council has had on the community and making the city more bike accessible, [and it] is making it easier for people to shop local, making Carmel a stronger community.”

Next fall, Edwards shared that she plans on attending The Queen’s College, a constituent college of the University of Oxford, England. Edwards’ father is from the U.K., and she has family across the pond. She was able to tour the campus in 2019 while on Thanksgiving break.

“My most immediate plans are to go to prom and have fun with my friends,” Edwards enthused. “Next year, I’m going to be at the University of Oxford in the U.K. and will study philosophy, politics and economics at The Queen’s college. I am very excited. Once I set foot on campus, I felt really comfortable there, and I knew it was the right place for me. I think it will be a wonderful experience.”

Edwards shared that she would like to work for the U.S. government in the State Department or perhaps go into law. She isn’t quite sure yet. Regardless, we congratulate Edwards on her achievements and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

A complete list of 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars follows and is also available at