Five Indian-American students have been named 2011 Truman Scholars by the Harry S Truman Scholarship Foundation.
Ishan Nath from Georgia, Anjali Bipin Thakkar from California, Veena Irene Patel from Iowa, Niharika Sanjay Jain from Louisiana and Aditya Attiguppe Ashok from New Hampshire are among 60 students from 54 American colleges and universities who will receive the award, which provides up to $30,000 for graduate study to students committed to careers in public service.
The award is one of the US' most prestigious national fellowships, given annually to college juniors who have demonstrated exceptional leadership potential and who are committed to careers in government, nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or other public service.
They were selected on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability and likelihood of 'making a difference.'
It provides them with financial support for graduate study, leadership training and fellowship with other students, who are committed to making a difference through public service.
The 60 scholars were selected from among 602 candidates nominated by 264 colleges and universities.
Each selection panel interviewed finalists from a 3-4 states region and generally elected one scholar from each state.
Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counselling and special internship opportunities within the federal government.
Recipients must be US citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, be in the top quarter of their class, and be committed to careers in government or the not-for-profit sector.
The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to the 33rd US President Harry S Truman.
The Foundation awards scholarships for college students to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service.
The activities of the Foundation are supported by a special trust fund in the US Treasury. There have been 2790 Truman Scholars elected since the first awards were made in 1977.
The 2011 Truman Scholars will assemble on May 17 for a leadership development programme at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri and receive their awards in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, on May 22.