kelso cosgrove

Kelso High School senior, Kelso Cosgrove, was named a 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar by the Department of Education on May 12. As one of two honorees in Washington State this year, he also has the distinction of being the first U.S. Presidential Scholar in Cowlitz County in 56 years, and the second in Cowlitz since the program began 58 years ago.

Of the 3.7 million students in America expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,000 candidates qualified for the 2022 awards. From the pool of candidates, there were 620 semifinalists. Cosgrove is one of only 161 nation-wide to achieve the honor of being a U.S. Presidential Scholar.

This accomplishment comes after enduring unusually difficult circumstances. Cosgrove lost both his brothers—the first while he was in 3rd grade, and the second while he was in 8th grade. The resilient young man has let the passing of his brothers become motivation to be the best version of himself; describing the experience as having both “destroyed” him and “rebuilt” him at the same time.

Throughout his high school career, Cosgrove has maintained a 4.0 GPA while working part-time and completing over 110 hours of volunteer service.  His leadership includes time as a teen mentor at Barnes Elementary, through Honor Society, and as an Outstanding Junior Masonic Award nominee.

The U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964, by executive order of the President, to recognize and honor some of our nation's most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Students nominated for the program are evaluated based on academic scholarship, commitment to learning, engagement in activities and service, leadership, resiliency in overcoming challenges, and potential for a productive future.

Since 1964, the program has honored over 7,900 of the nation's top-performing students. In that time, Cowlitz County has had two students honored with the accomplishment: the first was Janet Louise Miller in 1965, also from Kelso High School. The second is Kelso Cosgrove. 

The Presidential Scholars Class of 2022 will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer with an online recognition program. A complete list of 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available at