Lancaster student is candidate in program that just 0.1 percent of students in U.S. are chosen for

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LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Lancaster High School senior is apart of a club that not many can say they’ve ever been invited to join.

Matt Skulski is a candidate in a prestigious program that began more than 50 years ago, by Executive Order of the President: the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

When News 4 visited Skulski’s Honors Physics class, it was immediately clear he was special. The senior goes through problems with such ease and speed, it’s almost like his hands can barely keep up with his extremely fast-moving mind.

The U.S. Presidential Scholar Program handpicks 4,500 students to become candidates. The students don’t apply, they’re chosen by a White House committee based on their SAT and ACT scores, along with other criteria. Matt received a perfect score on the math portion of the SAT, and a perfect score on the science portion of the ACT.

“I was actually on vacation when I received my ACT score and I was really happy,” he said. “I didn’t expect to do so well obviously and I was really excited about what I was able to achieve.”

But the humble senior doesn’t just excel in the classroom.

“I didn’t expect any of this honestly,” he said. “When I was a freshman, I was really shy and I was really nervous to talk to new people.”

The once-shy young man leads on the gridiron as well, playing on the offensive line, on a team that’s won sectional the past four years. He’s also in several honors societies and clubs, doing community service for all of them.

After graduation, Skulski plans on pursing a degree in chemical engineering. He’s already made it into his top college choice: Georgia Tech.

In April, the White House commission on Presidential Scholars will chose 600 candidate to become semi-finalists. After that, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars will become finalists. If he’s a finalist, he’ll go on an all-expense-paid trip to our nation’s capitol to meet with government officials. The finalists also get honored with a special medallion at the White House.

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