2 South Florida students recognized as 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars in art

MIAMI (WSVN) - Two Miami-Dade County students received the honor of being among the 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars.

Nina Ahmadi and Mercedes Ferreira-Dias were among the 161 high school seniors across the nation to receive the prestigious recognition.

“I saw a notification, and I was like, ‘That’s so cool,'” said Ferreira-Dias.

Students were acknowledged for their accomplishments in different categories such as the arts, academics, career and technical education programs.

Ahmadi and Ferreira-Dias just so happened to be recognized in the same category of the arts.

“My first thought was like, this has to be fake. There’s no way,” said Ahmadi.

Ferreira-Dias, a student at Mater Lakes Academy, is set to attend both Harvard and Berklee College of Music in the fall as she participates in a duel degree program.

“I just kind of realized I don’t have to put myself into a box anymore. I can pursue music, and I can pursue my academic side, and I can also find a way to bridge those two,” said Ferreira-Dias.

Ahmadi attends Design and Architecture Senior High and plans on heading to New York University after graduation to continue studying in her passion of the arts.

“Working with creating arts access and art equity, going into education and creating art programs because the benefits of art in education are priceless,” said Ahmadi.

The recipients will also have the chance of showcasing their talents in a production.

Ahmadi and Ferreira-Dias will join the other national art scholars in a performance put together by the National YoungArts Foundation at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

“You’re going to be able to see just a bunch of different arts coming together to create a performance, which is something I’ve never had the pleasure of participating in, so that’s just going to be really fun,” said Ferreira-Dias.

“I just feel so privileged to be part of a group of such talented, young people,” said Ahmadi.

All honorees will receive a Presidential Scholar medallion at the ceremony on June 23.

The artists’ performance will be held on June 24 and can be livestreamed here.

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