He's co-president of his school's mock-trial program, made top 50 for the National Chemistry Olympiad, and plays water polo for his high school.
Westview High School Senior Emmit Pert can now add being a prestigious Presidential Scholar to his resume.
“I’m just totally honored to have basically national recognition for what I’ve done. It's amazing,” Emitt said.
The Poway resident beat out 56-hundred students who qualified to become one of the 160 students awarded the honor.
But Bob McHeffey, the teacher who Emitt says wrote his recommendation letter and influenced him the most, isn't there to share the joy.
The 18-year-old was one of the students with McHeffey last month on a school trip to Ireland. During the trip, the Westview literature teacher fell ill with the H1-N1 virus.
An online fundraising blog page has been set up to help with cost while McHeffey remains overseas recovering.
Back at home in Poway, Emitt has been emailing his inspirational teacher to tell him about winning the Presidential Scholar honor and being invited to go to Washington DC in June as Emmit's distinguished teacher.
“I'm one student among numerous others whose lives have been changed, whose writing abilities have been improved by Bob. And he's absolutely deserving of being recognized as such and being able to be the person who goes with me would be an honor,” said Emitt.
Students and faculty at Westview have created an 18 minute video to show how much they miss Bob and the impact he's made.
The Presidential Scholar ceremony is scheduled for June 19th.