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Adnan Khan


There’s so much that happens during a student’s senior year of high school: applying to colleges, figuring out their next steps, going to dances and football games for the last time. In the case of Bloomfield Hills' Adnan Khan – a senior at International Academy – there’s been one pretty special additional bonus that has happened during his senior year, too. He has been selected as a U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Candidate.


“I think it was a very humbling and surprising nomination for me,” he said. “It kind of put it into perspective how I'm actually making a difference in my community, and that's something that I really hold in high regard.”


The scholars program focuses on selecting high school seniors on the basis of academic achievement – including outstanding performances on the SAT or ACT – and community involvement. It’s regarded as one of the highest honors a graduating high school senior can achieve.


And it doesn’t end with just the selection as a candidate. Khan could become one of the students who are announced as the 2023 U.S. Presidential Scholar representing Michigan, a list that narrows down the candidates to only a few students from each state.


“The application was due at the beginning of last month. So now that it's completed, I think it's still pending. It didn't give us an ETA on when the result will be released,” Khan said. “But I'm still waiting and hoping for the best.”


Khan isn’t sure who nominated him, but after speaking with him, it’s easy to see why he was nominated.


He’s not only been successful academically at International Academy, but is on the board at his school for clubs including Future Business Leaders of America and the Investment Club. He’s been a competitive fencer since middle school, where he was not only named First Team Academic All-American, which helped him overcome a physical deficiency when he was younger. Khan is musically talented as well, playing the violin since the sixth grade, and has played with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Youth Ensemble at Interlochen Arts Academy, and all four years at International Academy with the symphony orchestra.


There’s one more extracurricular that is near and dear to his heart: CanDoAble, the non-profit he founded during his sophomore year of high school. CanDoAble works locally with children of resettled refugees in the Detroit area, as well as in Khan’s hometown in South India, working with blind children and giving them experimental technology to increase independence and future financial security. Khan has plans to expand their efforts domestically moving forward.


This work with CanDoAble recently got Khan nominated for an international award for youth leaders as well.


International Academy – which has an International Baccalaureate curriculum – is heavily focused on applying what students learn in the real world and volunteering, all playing a large role in the type of student, and person, Khan’s become.


“Everyone in my school is very similar minded to me, and we value community efforts and volunteering very highly,” he said. “I think just being around like-minded people has been pretty motivational and beneficial to me.”


Khan is currently waiting on college acceptance letters – he’s planning on being a business major as well as also taking some pre-med classes – and plans to make a decision soon. But no matter where he goes, his future seems quite bright.


Story: Dana Casadei

Photo: Laurie Tennent

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