Two Twin Cities students are among 161 high school seniors nationwide to earn the distinction of being U.S. Presidential Scholars.

Dedeepya Guthikonda of Edina High School and Minkai Li of Woodbury High School were selected as part of an elite group being recognized for academic success, artistic and technical excellence, and community service and leadership.

"Our 2022 Presidential Scholars represent the best of America, and remind us that when empowered by education, there are no limits to what our young people can achieve," U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement Thursday giving credit, too, for the students' ability to persevere during a pandemic.

This year's class will be recognized this summer in an online recognition program.

The 161 honorees were selected from a field of more than 5,000 candidates. Two students are selected from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, while others are chosen at-large or on the basis of excellence in the arts or career and technical education.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was created in 1964 and has honored more than 7,900 students to date.