Autumn Alyse Conway, a graduating senior at Conway Homeschool, has been named one of more than 4,500 candidates in the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

KGVO News spoke with Autumn and her mother Kathrene on Friday about the honor.

Kathrene said she knew her daughter was brilliant at a very early age.

“I knew I was in trouble in kindergarten when I went down into her room and I said, you know, you need to clean your room and she said, ‘Mom, I'm too tired to clean’, and I said, ‘well then Autumn, get on your bed and take a nap. Because if you're too tired to clean, then, you know you're too tired to play’. And she looked at me and she said, Mom, Occam’s razor’s not always right.’ I went upstairs and called my husband and said, ‘Who's Occam and why does he have a razor? And why does this mean she can't clean her room?’

Kathrene said her daughter is a naturally gifted student in many areas.

“She loves to learn,” she said. “She loves logic and debate. I have to be sure that I'm very logical in my reasoning with her. We've also been part of the Five Valley’s Home School Co-op, which has been great because it's given her classes at the Natural History Museum and Spectrum. She's been able to find a great violin teacher through that and also take journalism classes.”

Autumn said she is mulling over applying to several schools after graduation.

“I'm applying to lot of different colleges, among them Yale, Dartmouth, Carnegie Mellon and Notre Dame,” she said. “I’m still exploring options, but I'm looking at something that involves both the technical side of computer programming but also more creative things like digital art.”

Kathrene said the competition for an honor like the Presidential Scholars Program is tough, but she has the ACT score to qualify.

“They all have kids that have you know ACT scores as high as Autumn so I think it's just one more thing that recognizes that she has met the standard,” she said.

Peter Christian asked, “Please forgive me for being nosy but what was her ACT score? She answered 34, “and so what what's the best you can get?”

Her mother said “a 36.”

The candidates were selected from nearly 3.6 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in the year 2021. 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.

Autumn is the daughter of Luke and Kathrene Conway of Missoula.


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