Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) senior Joaquin Castro-Balbi has been named a candidate in the 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating U.S. high school seniors. Castro-Balbi is one of only two students from Fort Worth selected for candidacy out of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from U.S. high schools in 2022.

Castro-Balbi is the 10th senior from FWCD to be recognized as a U.S. Presidential Scholars Candidate since 2000. In addition to being named a U.S. Presidential Scholars Candidate, Castro-Balbi is a National Merit Semifinalist, a Scholar in the College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP), and serves as Student Body President at FWCD.  

Committed to FWCD’s “three A’s” (academics, arts and athletics), Castro-Balbi excels academically – by graduation, he will have completed five Honors and 10 Advanced Placement courses. He currently is pursuing linear algebra, electrical engineering, and computer architecture programs in support of his Senior Capstone Project on utilizing computers to launch space rockets. He has also played violin for 12 years and serves as principal of the first violins section and concertmaster of the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra. Castro-Balbi is also a competitive athlete, excelling on the FWCD cross country and track teams for the past four years, in addition to swimming on the Falcon swim team.  

“It is beyond exciting for FWCD to have two, back-to-back U.S. Presidential Scholars Program candidates,” said Kristin Larsen, director of college counseling at FWCD. “While this repeat timing is definitely an impressive feat, it also affirms FWCD’s standing as a school that educates the nation’s most distinguished high school seniors.”

“I have known Joaquin for seven years, and from our very first meeting, he impressed me as an earnest, engaged, talented, and thoughtful young man,” said Eric Lombardi, head of school at FWCD. “One of the gifts of being an educator is getting to see students mature. While remaining remarkably humble, Joaquin has taken advantage of his gifts and of our school and city to develop into a young man of whom we can all be so proud.”

Established in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes the nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in academic success, leadership, and service to school and community. Annually, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars are chosen from among that year’s senior class, representing excellence and dedication and the promise of greatness in America’s youth. All Scholars are invited to Washington, D.C., in June for the National Recognition Program, featuring various events and enrichment activities and culminating in the presentation of the Presidential Scholars Medallion during a White House-sponsored ceremony.

Since 1963, Fort Worth Country Day has inspired the passion to learn, the courage to lead, and the commitment to serve through a program that fosters the intellectual, physical, emotional, and ethical development of its students. Situated on 104 acres in southwest Fort Worth, Fort Worth Country Day’s 220 faculty/staff members lead and teach grades JK-12. Offering a comprehensive college-preparatory curriculum, Fort Worth Country Day focuses on the 3A’s—academics, arts, and athletics—to bring balance to students’ experiences, provide opportunities to explore multiple interests, and thrive in a compassionate community. To learn more about Fort Worth Country Day, visit or

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