Alain Sherman, a Roslyn High School senior, has been named a 2013 U.S. Presidential Scholar, which recognizes students for "outstanding academic achievement" and other accomplishments.
"Obviously, it's a huge, huge honor, being selected out of . . . really stellar, stellar students around the country," Sherman said.
He is among 141 scholars nationwide this year. More than 3,800 candidates qualified for the award, determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT and ACT exams, and through nominations, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The award recognizes students for academic achievement, artistic excellence, leadership, citizenship, service and contribution to school and community.
Sherman, who turns 18 Saturday, said he scored a perfect 2,400 on the three-part SAT, which tests students on math, critical reading and writing ability.
Sherman's extracurricular activities include a social science research project inspired by his family's journey when his mother contracted a benign brain tumor. His research explored the factors patients and health providers "value when selecting a primary care physician."
Though his father is a radiologist, it was a traumatic situation for the family, he said, adding that everything went well and his "mom made a full recovery" after surgery.
"That got me thinking. My mom had access to all this information because of my dad. What happens when everyday lay people choose a doctor?" he said. He conducted surveys to find out and employed statistical analysis in his research.
Sherman said he wants to become a physician and has been accepted to Northwestern University's combined bachelor of science and medical degree program.
He credits one of his teachers, Allyson Weseley, with being an inspiring mentor. "She really has been a teacher like no other, in the sense that she treats me not so much as a student but like on the same level as her. . . . That taught me to be independent."
Sherman selected Weseley as his most influential teacher.
Weseley, coordinator of secondary research at Roslyn High, said the program was a way for students "to challenge themselves. He's certainly an example of that. Whatever I asked Alain to do, Alain would do more."
Scholars will get an all-expenses paid, three-day trip to Washington, D.C., next month.