Scores of recent graduates from Fairfax County high schools are heading off to campus — or in some cases, back to campus – with portions of their college education paid for via scholarships from community nonprofits, foundations, hospitals and service organizations. This week we highlight a few.
Northwest Federal Credit Union Foundation in Herndon is helping 12 college students from Fairfax County fund their higher education. Each has received a Ben DeFelice Scholarship in the amount of $5,000.
Graduates from the class of 2013 include Andrew Brailey, George C. Marshall High School; Kristi Carrigan, Oakton High School; Chauncey Crail, Oakton High School; John Franklin, James Madison High School; Steven Natale, South County High School; Katherine Neal, South Lakes High School; Grant Pemberton, The Potomac School; and Wray Sinclair, Herndon High School.
These upperclassmen also received scholarships: James Chang, Fairfax High School, now a student at North Carolina State University; Alexandra Smyre, Westfield High School, now at University of Virginia; Justin Sunday, Westfield High School, now at Old Dominion University; and Timothy Tran, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, now at Princeton University.
The foundation, the charitable arm of Northwest Federal Credit Union, annually awards the scholarships to students demonstrating leadership, dedication and commitment to their schools, homes and communities. The Ben DeFelice Scholarship program was established in 2005 to pay tribute to its namesake, who was the credit union’s longest-serving board chairman.
The Kiwanis Club of Fairfax and the Friends of the Fairfax City Library awarded scholarships to four recent graduates: Nathan Chen, Oakton High School; Kevin Huo, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology; Angela Lee, Robinson Secondary School; and Esther Yoon, Centreville High School.
Each winner will receive $3,000, paid to the college or university of his or her choice.
All four were leaders in their respective Key Clubs, and devoted many community service hours in and outside of Kiwanis. The Kiwanis Club of Fairfax sponsors the four schools.
The Kiwanis Club of Fairfax and the Friends of the Fairfax Library joint scholarship project is an ongoing effort to promote excellence in leadership, community service and academics among youth in the area.
The Northern Virginia Athletic Directors, Administrators, and Coaches Association has awarded $2,000 scholarships to a dozen recent graduates from Fairfax County high schools.
Drew Bonner, Fairfax High School; Andrew Chang; Woodson High School; Laura Dunn, Woodson; Alyssa Harrison, Lake Braddock Secondary School; Alexandra Hunter, Lake Braddock; Caitlin Jaeckel, JEB Stuart High School; Ji Kim, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology; Sophia Kim, Robert E. Lee High School; Elizabeth Lowery, JEB Stuart; Megan Moody, Lake Braddock; Patrick O’Connor, TJHSST; and Kelsey Ross, James Madison High School.
The graduating seniors demonstrated achievement, leadership and scholarship in their athletic endeavors.
Bonner and O’Connor also were chosen as two of 10 students across the state to receive The Allstate Foundation/VHSL Achievement Award, the highest award given to students who have excelled academically, lettered in one VHSL Athletic or academic activity, and been involved in other school functions or community service work.
Bonner won The Courageous Achievement Award for perseverance while facing the progressive, life-threatening disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
“Adversity has tested my resolve, refined my character and forced me to set life goals,” he wrote in his application essay. “Once I realistically understood my personal shortcomings, I accepted that limitations need not be limiting.”
Bonner played baseball until his DMD began to limit his ability to participate on the field, but he remained in the game. He earned four letters in baseball and three in basketball as the team manager at Fairfax High School while also maintaining a 4.233 GPA.
Bonner is a member of the National Honor Society and the Future Business Leaders of America, and the most decorated scout in Boy Scout Troop 1970 in Reston. He earned Eagle Scout at age 13. He also is an active regional participant in the Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy.
He plans to attend the University of Virginia to study computer science.
O’Connor was named Group AAA Male Athlete of the Year. He lettered four years in wrestling and three years in football.
On the wrestling mat, he was a three-time state qualifier, three-time district champion at 189 and 195 pounds, and two-time region champion at 195. He was a state runner-up at 195 as a senior and finished fourth at 189 as a junior. In football, he was named first-team all-district and second-team all-region as senior running back and defensive end. He also captained both teams.
Also an Eagle Scout, O’Connor is a member of the National Honor Society and Latin Honor Society, and a member of the Thomas Jefferson S&T elite post-AP class, Latin V: Catullus, Horace, and Ovid. He earned gold and silver medals on the National Latin Examinations and earned a perfect score on the Latin II examination.
O’Connor plans to attend Davidson University and double major in chemistry and economics.
Celebrate Fairfax Inc., the nonprofit producer of the award-winning Celebrate Fairfax! Festival, awarded a $1,000 Community Spirit Scholarship to a student in each of the county’s nine Supervisory Districts and to one “at large” recipient.
At-Large: Noah Smolen, W.T. Woodson High School
Braddock: Kailey Leinz, Lake Braddock High School
Dranesville: Kartik Gupta, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Hunter Mill: Kellen Levinson, Oakton High School
Lee: Pavina Sengkhyavong, Robert E. Lee High School
Mason: Xhama Vyas, J.E.B. Stuart High School
Mount Vernon: Kate Schneider, West Potomac High School
Providence: Kevin Cao, TJHSST
Springfield: Do Yeon Park, Lake Braddock
Sully: Christine Quetsch, Chantilly High School.
Recipients were recognized for their community involvement, academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities and demonstrated leadership.
Celebrate Fairfax’s Community Spirit Scholarship Program was launched last year to give back to the people of Fairfax County, with funding raised through the Friends of Celebrate Fairfax initiative.
Reston Hospital Center awarded scholarships to 11 Fairfax County High School seniors in recognition of their academic excellence and with excitement for their plans to pursue a career in health care.
The recipients of the Reston Hospital Center Medical Staff Scholarships are Jona Qorri and Margaret Sabo, Chantilly High School; Montserrat Alvarez and Syed Hossain, Herndon High School; Hanna Mitchell, James Madison High School; In Ah Jung, Langley High School; Debbie Ledezma, McLean High School; Madeline Farmer, Oakton High School; Priscilla Fiores and Tommy Reyes, South Lakes High School; and Jenny Chau, Westfield High School.
Each year the medical staff at Reston Hospital Center offers $15,000 in scholarships to Northern Virginia high schools. This year McLean, Chantilly and Westfield were added to the list. For the past 15 years, Reston Hospital Center has awarded more than $200,000 in academic scholarships.
The National Merit Scholarship Corp. recently awarded 2013 Herndon High School graduate Isaac Yampolsky one of its college sponsored scholarships. Yampolsky plans to study bioengineering at Northwestern University.