Tara, the daughter of Gary and Sarita Sharma, was among 12 high school seniors competing for the annual award.
The students submitted essays on the topic "America's Youth -- Stepping Forward to Change the Beat of America."
Each of the students received a check for $100, a certificate and a plaque.
Tara received an additional $350 and will have an opportunity to compete on a regional and national level for a $10,000 scholarship.
She has a 3.7 grade-point average, is a member of the National Honor Society, has been recognized for superior performance for three years in the National Federation of Music Competition and won a 2008 Converse Junior Scholar Award.
Other students honored by the club at a luncheon Thursday were:
Aaron J. Umansky, of Westside High School; Caroline I. Mullins, Westminster Schools; Ashley S. Weaver, A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet High School; Cree Downs, Glenn Hills High School; Melany Lopez, Augusta Christian Schools; Jameson Meadows, Academy of Richmond County; Shelby Roberts, John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet High School; Tiffany Williams, Lakeside High School; Parveen K. Dhillon, Greenbrier High School; Tony Miller Jr., Hephzibah High School; and Bennie J. Stephens II, Aquinas High School.
Each year the Exchange Club honors high school seniors for their work ethic, accomplishments and overall pursuit of excellence, according to a statement accompanying the awards.