Something in the DNA? Hillcrest High senior follows brother’s path to top Sterling Scholar award


SALT LAKE CITY — Brother, brother.

Twice in four years, two brothers have been selected General Sterling Scholar in the Deseret News/KSL’s Sterling Scholar program.

To hear this year’s winner, Alexander Cheng of Hillcrest High School, tell it, he was deeply honored to be among 168 finalists in the 57th annual scholarship and recognition program. He also won the science category.

“It’s truly an honor to even be here so I’m truly blessed to have won and to be recognized. I’m so grateful, especially to my parents for all of their support and help. I think they’re really crucial. My brother actually won General Sterling Scholar three years ago. It just goes to show the dedication and the influence they’ve had on us so I really thank my parents,” Cheng said.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Alexander Cheng, of Hillcrest High School, holds flowers and his award after receiving the General Sterling Scholar Award during the Deseret News/KSL Sterling Scholar Awards ceremony at the LDS Conference Center’s Little Theatre in Salt Lake City on Friday, March 15, 2019. Cheng was the winner in the science category.

Cheng’s brother Anthony won in 2016. He also attended Hillcrest High School.

To read Alexander Cheng’s portfolio, his rise to the top of the 2019 Sterling Scholars program wasn’t happenstance.

He was one of 80 students worldwide selected to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Research Science Institute. He ranks first in his class, has a 4.0 grade point average and earned a 35 composite score on the ACT.

His next challenge? Going into biomedical computation and devise ways to rein in the escalating cost of health care.

“One way we can approach this problem is through scientific research. What I want to do is use automated technology to be able to automate all the processes within the medical process so …read more

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