George Cheng from North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in West Hill, N.C., and Katelyn Matarese from La Canada High in La Canada, Calif. have been named the national winners of the 2023 Heisman High School Scholarship, awarded by the Heisman Trophy Trust.
Cheng and Matarese earned this distinction that started with an applicant pool of thousands of high school scholar-athletes graduating with the class of 2024.
Cheng is a member of his school’s basketball, cross country, and track teams. As one of the most promising STEM students in the country, George’s type 2 diabetes research is published in multiple medical journals and has led to a proof-of-concept for a new more affordable treatment option for the disease. Cheng founded STEMable, a nonprofit that makes STEM education more accessible and will help to diversify the STEM landscape. His ultimate goal is to become a bioengineer and entrepreneur with the ability to positively impact millions of patients suffering from incurable diseases.
Matarese is National Honor Society Vice President, captain of her track and field and cross country teams, and a two-time Junior Olympics National Champion runner. While she relies on fast feet to win races, it’s her voice that is making the greatest impact on her teammates and community. She’s committed to speaking up for others and serves as a Special Olympics coach, peer tutor, and volunteer in multiple organizations. She is the founder of Pita Against Poverty, a nonprofit that bakes and sells pitas to raise more than $20,000 for different charitable organizations in her community.
George and Katelyn will each receive a $10,000 college scholarship and be invited guests to the 2023 Heisman Trophy ceremony.
From its inception in 1994, the program has leveraged the reputation of the Heisman Memorial Trophy as a symbol of great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.
The Heisman High School Scholarship extends the Heisman prestige to the nation’s most esteemed high school seniors by celebrating and rewarding outstanding male and female scholar-athletes who understand that the most important victories happen not only on the field, but also in their schools and communities.
The program honors the nation’s most accomplished, community-minded high school senior athletes. By inviting male and female students from schools across the country to share their stories of leadership and impact, the program aims to inspire all students to harness their potential, push their limits, and use their talents not only to advance their own futures, but to improve the communities and world around them.
To learn more about George and Katelyn, visit www.heismanscholarship.com.