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Valedictorians from Wilkes-Barre and Maine Land Presidential Scholarship

King’s College today announced that incoming first-year students Mann Patel, of Wilkes-Barre, and Benjamin Chonko, of Topsham, Maine, were named Presidential Scholars and will receive full tuition awards in recognition of their exemplary leadership, scholastic achievement, and community service.

Both students will attend the College starting in the Fall 2024 semester. Patel, ranked first of 473 students at Wilkes-Barre Area High School, is a first-generation student with an interest in history.

A member of his school’s senior committee, Spanish Honor Society, and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Patel also serves as a supervisor for advanced placement (AP) tutors. Patel plans to pursue the College’s 3+3 pre-law to J.D. track, which features partnerships with the Duquesne and Villanova law schools.

Chonko, also first in his class and a varsity soccer player, traveled from Maine with his family for the scholarship interview. Chonko is involved in the National Honors Society, French foreign exchange program, and American Legion’s Youth Leadership program. He is also president of the Societe Honoraire de Francasis and co-owner of his own landscaping company that he started with his twin brother, who will also attend King’s College. Chonko plans to pursue a mechanical engineering degree.

“We’re grateful to the donors and supporters who enable us to empower exceptional students both here in Northeastern Pennsylvania and across the country to pursue their dreams at no cost to their families,” said Chris Dearth, vice president for enrollment management. “These students will be a wonderful addition to the King’s College community, which shares their dedication to personal excellence and service to others.”

The Presidential Scholarship is awarded to select individuals who meet certain GPA, SAT, ACT, and extracurricular requirements and complete a thorough interview process. This is the first year in which the College has expanded the award to include both a local and out-of-state student.

“This year’s Presidential Scholarship group was extremely strong,” Dearth continued. “Participants represented 69 different high schools from 12 different states and had an average GPA of 3.95. These students represent the top five percent of our applicant pool and will receive the Excellence Award for their achievements.”

King's Admission Staff with Mann
Mann Patel, center/white shirt