Ballou High School in South East is nationally known for its marching band, but at Wednesday's assembly, senior Isaiah West let the District know its no slouch academically, either.
In front of hundreds of supporters West was awarded a full scholarship to George Washington University
for his commitment in and outside the classroom.
“It really is mind boggling. I can’t believe it,” said West. “Since the ninth grade I’ve just been working really, really hard preparing for the SAT.”
West was one of nine area high school seniors to receive the award Wednesday. Each was picked for being a leader amongs their peers.
, who grew in Ward 8, credits his mother for keeping him focused.
“I really had to struggle and make sure I kept my grades up and did everything and everything I could to be in this position today,” said King.
The four-year scholarships encompass everything -- not just tuition, but also room and board and books. So by the time these students graduate, they’ll have received the equivalent of more than $200,000.
Maritza Sanabria, a senior at Sidwell Friends, understands the economic impact of this award. The daughter of Nicaraguan immigrants, Sanabria will now be the first person in her family to attend college.
“My dad is self-employed, but with the recession it’s been harder,” said Sanabria. “So this is going to help a lot, and I’m so fortunate and so thankful for receiving this award.”
This scholarship program at George Washington University has been around for more than 20 years, helping dreams come true and creating tomorrow’s leaders.
“I hope to be a surgeon,” said West.
“I definitely plan to study international affairs,” said Sanabria.
“Psychologist,” said King. “I’ve always said I wanted to help my crazy family, but I really love helping people. That’s one of my passions.”