MADISON (WKOW) -- Every year, a select number of high school students are honored with the prestigious Presidential Scholar award by the Department of Education.
One is enough to make most families proud, but what about two?
Madison Memorial High School senior, Suman Gunasekaran, found out he won the Presidential Scholar award last week. But that's not the end of it, his sister Suvai won the award in 2009.
"We haven't heard of many families getting even one of course, it's not very common," said Suman and Suvai's father Sundaram Gunasekaran, who works at UW-Madison. He continued, "To have this happen two times in our family, we are very blessed."
The Gunasekaran family said winners are chosen based on standardized tests, transcripts, letters of recommendation and essays.
"One boy and one girl are selected from each state to be a Presidential Scholar and they get to go to the White House and meet the President so my sister was a Presidential Scholar three years ago and so now I get to do my part," Suman said. He'll be joining his sister at Harvard in the fall.
But award winning is something that runs in the family. Sundaram Gunasekaran and his wife Sujatha both graduated at the top of their classes from schools in India.
"We encourage our children to sample all kinds of activities and see what they like and enjoy," Sundaram Gunasekaran said.
Suman said he is very interested in science, especially physics. The 17-year-old plans on pursuing research after college and hopes to create something new that could improve society.
He will travel to the White House in June.
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