Perpich News

Catrielle Barnett (Visual Arts 2023) Named 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholar Semifinalist in Arts

May 15, 2023

Catrielle Barnett (Visual Arts 2023) is a 2023 Semifinalist for the U.S. Presidential Scholar in Arts

Congratulations to Catrielle Barnett (Visual Arts 2023) on being named a 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholar Semifinalist! She is the only student in Minnesota to achieve this national recognition as a Semifinalist for U.S. Presidential Scholar in Arts. There are nine total U.S. Presidential Scholar Semifinalists from Minnesota.

“When I received the news I was a Semifinalist for the U.S. Presidential Scholar in Arts, I was overjoyed!” said Barnett. “This year was the third time I applied to be a part of the YoungArts Week. The reason I share this is to make the point: keep going. Don’t let rejection stop you from trying again.” Catrielle was named a 2023 YoungArts National Finalist in Design Arts earlier in the winter. YoungArts applicants are between the ages of 15–18 or in grades 10–12, and each of the winners demonstrate outstanding artistic achievement in the visual, literary, or performing arts. YoungArts winners, who represent the top 11% of applicants, are further eligible for exclusive opportunities including nomination as U.S. Presidential Scholars in Arts, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students.

“Through the process of being nominated for the U.S. Presidential Scholar in Arts, I met some wonderful people,” said Barnett. “For the first time, I found myself creating for a week alongside other young artists from all over the United States and abroad. Many of us have stayed connected through this process, and their encouragement and guidance are heartfelt. The gift of this program was fostering connections. I’ve been applying the feedback and insights I received to my creative process. I am humbly grateful for the opportunities presented this year through the organization, YoungArts, which nominated my work for this award.”

Catrielle Barnett was selected as one of 628 semifinalists to advance to the final round of the 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholars competition. Simone M. Olson, Executive Director of the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, said, “Regardless of the final outcome of the competition, it is a great honor and an exceptional accomplishment to have reached the semifinalist phase in this highly selective and prestigious program. The achievements of these outstanding students deserve acknowledgment.”

One of the garments that makes up Catrielle Barnett’s collection, Playing With Fire

Perpich Arts High School Principal, Conn McCartan, said, “While I don’t need this honor to convince me how impressive Catrielle is, it does serve as an appropriate finishing touch to a remarkable senior year. She has consistently applied her considerable talents to both her academic and artistic pursuits. Great things lie ahead for this young woman.”

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. In 1979, the program was extended to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts. In 2015, the program was again extended to recognize students who demonstrate ability and accomplishment in career and technical education fields. Each year, up to 161 students are named as Presidential Scholars; inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities.

Catrielle is from Plymouth, MN and is the child of Catrina & Ray Barnett. She previously attended Minnesota Connections Academy in St. Paul, MN. In addition to attending Perpich, Catrielle is also a PSEO student at North Hennepin Community college.

Congratulations, Catrielle!