2015 Award Recipients

2015 Scholarship Recipients
Derrick Adjei
HP STEM Scholarship
High School: Mount Vernon
College/University: Georgetown, University of Virginia or Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Career Aspirations: Mathematics/Engineering
“Achieving a college education will serve as the open door
that will lead me to become a knowledgeable, ethical, and
compassionate person that society needs. A college environment gives students
opportunities to display true creativity and innovativeness. I do not view a
college education as a prerequisite, rather, I view it as an investment in my
future, and the first step to achieving one of many goals.”
Leul Berhane-Meskel
Lottie Burke Bellamy Achievement Scholarship
High School: Lake Braddock
College/University: Rochester Institute of Technology
Career Aspirations: Engineer
“Getting a college degree is akin to being handed the
reins to direct your life. It is both a symbol of great
achievement and a chance at financial security, two
amazingly important things.”
Janay Bingham
Leon Myrick Memorial Scholarship
High School: Westfield
College/University: Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Career Aspirations: Business Accounting/Entrepreneur
“Dr. King demonstrated that education and service can
make a positive impact on a community. I plan to use my
college education to start a dance academy that empowers
children to learn their inner strengths. Dance taught me that diversity of ideas,
being open minded, and inclusive are the building blocks of strong teams. I
grew to understand and appreciate that making dreams come true requires
commitment and hard work.”
Sakira Coleman
Derwin L. Abston, AIA Memorial Scholarship
and Ernest Eugene Hanks Memorial Scholarship
High School: South County
College/University: James Madison University
Career Aspirations: Physical Therapist
“​I was in elementary school when I first recognized college as the way to
become successful. A college education will give me the ability to show my
younger sister that knowledge is power . . . will give me the resources to help
me do something important with my time . . . will give me the opportunity to
be a catalyst for change, a proactive advocate, and a passionate leader.”
Kwasi Darkwah
Anita Michelle Brown Memorial Scholarship
and Lucile Nichols Memorial Scholarship
High School: Mount Vernon
College/University: James Madison University
Career Aspirations: Electrical Engineer
“Achieving a college education will help foster the
relationship between my leadership and learning because I
will be able to pursue my desired career as an Electrical Engineer. It will prepare
me to be a leader and innovator in society, in my community and in my career.”
Nadia Duncan
Apex Foundation Scholarship and
Access National Bank Scholarship
High School: George C. Marshall
College/University: James Madison University or
Pace University
Career Aspirations: Theatre Arts or Musical Theatre
“I’ve seen how the arts can affect people in a visceral way; the arts have the
power to rebuild communities, to bring awareness to issues, and now, due to
the birth of social media, to influence an entire generation. I strive to use the
arts in such a way that when audiences see my work, they can interpret social
issues in our society and are motivated to speak up against injustice.”
Gregory Evans
Ramachandran Memorial Scholarship
High School: Mount Vernon
College/University: Lafayette College
Career Aspirations: Economics
“College is about transitioning outside of your selfimplemented boundaries, stepping outside of the box and
into a whole new territory. So many great discoveries
and advancements in history have been made by college
students who decided to go above and beyond, to not just
color outside of the lines, but to create lines of their own. Therefore . . . I will
continue to test my limits, be prepared to be a lifelong learner, because the
pursuit of knowledge has no ending point.”
Nicholas Grant
Military Scholarship
High School: Hayfield
College/University: Georgia Institute of Technology
Career Aspirations: Mechanical Engineering
“My college education will open doors for me that
otherwise would be closed. The fact that I achieved a college
education will be a testimony that I am disciplined to finish what I started. It
means I must reach back and reach out to keep our community from falling
behind in society. It means I have to give back in order for us to continue to
move forward.”
Benjamin Jackson
Google Stem Scholarship
High School: James Madison
College/University: Duke University
Career Aspirations: Engineering/Scientific Research
“I know university researchers and professors across the
country are working on solutions right now that help
people, and I want to work with and learn from them to do
so. I want to work with scientists working on problems and help them make
their ideas a reality while also being able to work with them to make my own
ideas a reality.”
Shannon Menezes
W. Pat Jennings, Sr. Memorial Scholarship
High School: Freedom High School
College/University: Virginia Commonwealth University
Career Aspirations: Physician
“I plan to become a physician. I will be able to apply the
social skills and knowledge I learned, from my classmates
and professors, to connect with my patients and prosper in my career. Most of
all, a college education inspires me to think towards the future. I know that if
I embrace this opportunity in front of me, I will be prepared to conquer what
lies ahead.”
Joshua Okada
Dr. Carl English Memorial Scholarship
High School: Jeb Stuart
College/University: University of Virginia
Career Aspirations: Politics and Human Rights
“I know that if I better myself through education, I can
have the power to make larger imprints on my greater community. In college,
I intend to study politics and human rights to launch me into a future
defending the rights others have lost.”
Raina Payne
Jacques Ribibo Scholarship
High School: Robert E. Lee
College/University: Northern Virginia Community College
Career Aspirations: Music Education
“Getting a college education means being able to change
the life and dreams of a child. I want to go to college for
a degree in music education. This will give me the opportunity to bring the
profound impact that music had on my growth and development to many
others like me. Music is so important to me that I want to be able to share my
love of it and help them initiate a connection with it.”
Liana Quinones
Thomas A. & A. Delores Bohannon-Wilkins Scholarship
High School: Lake Braddock
College/University: James Madison University or
Muhlenberg College
Career Aspirations: Theatre Arts
“I would like to become a guest teaching artist for one of
the theatre companies in Washington D.C.; thereby, fostering self-expression in
elementary school-aged children through theatre education. I plan to utilize
my theatre skills to promote change by participating in and directing shows
that advocate social issues. By pursuing theatre and acting, I hope to contribute
towards the advancement of racial and gender equality and challenge theatre
audiences to examine questions about life, our culture, and our values. My
intent is to inspire positive change in our society.”
Ebone Smith
Maurice Patrick Angland Scholarship
High School: Potomac Falls
College/University: Pennsylvania State University
Career Aspirations: Atmospheric Science/Meteorology
“I hope to discover new ways to help the atmosphere. I
want to know everything there is to know about the earth.
I want to pursue a career and study a field that is diverse and filled with never
ending wonder. I want to communicate the weather conditions so that people
will plan accordingly. I want to do what I can to prevent car crashes and tragic
Laura Vasquez-Bolanos
Founders Scholarship
High School: Tuscarora
College/University: Cornell University
Career Aspirations: Engineering
“I believe 3-D printing is a direction the engineering field
is going towards, and the use of biomaterials could reduce
the amount of metal in an individual’s body to improve
the recovery. I want to contribute to the community by researching to find
solutions, so patients only have to undergo one surgery, and can live longer
functioning lives. Outside of being an engineer I also hope to create a non-profit
organization to empower females and other minorities to pursue a career in