Ten graduating South Lakes High School seniors recently became the first honorees of a new scholarship fund that could give them up to $16,000 over a four-year college career.
The Reston Scholarship Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia awarded $4,000 scholarships to each of the students during a ceremony Saturday at Reston Town Center. The Fund plans to award the same amount in each of three subsequent years the student remains in college and continues to demonstrate need and merit.
Twenty-nine students applied for the scholarship, said Elizabeth Blankespoor on behalf of the Fund.
“We hope that as word spreads and we get more donations, the number of scholarships will increase in future years,” she said. “It is our firm belief that money should not stand between our students and a good education.”
Students honored with the scholarship funding, and the schools they will attend in the fall, are:
- Daniel Ennis, University of Minnesota
- Omer Gorashi, University of Maryland
- Amna Kayani, Virginia Commonwealth University
- Dounia Lazreq, George Washington University
- Emmeline Mejia, Bridgewater College
- Joelle Nkwantchoa Toundji, Christopher Newport University
- Razan Salih, Virginia Tech University
- Rabiya Sharieff, New York University
- Aditya Sorot, University of Virginia
- Qianyi Yang, James Madison University
Speakers at Saturday’s award ceremony included Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax); Kim Retzer, SLHS principal; Cheryl Simon, widow of Robert Simon; and Gil Blankespoor on behalf of the Fund.
Students’ GPAs, financial need, essays and recommendations were all considered in the process of the six-member selection committee. The students will also be awarded certificates during South Lakes’ annual Seniors Award Ceremony on June 8.
Gil and Elizabeth Blankespoor founded RSF in 2016 when they received 501(c)(3) status. They joined forces with the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia this year.
The Fund relies entirely on donations to make the scholarships possible. Donations, which are tax-deductible and used fully for the scholarships, can be made online at CF of Nova’s website or by mail to Reston Scholarship Fund — CF of Nova, 2003 Lakeport Way, Reston, VA 20191.
For more information about the scholarship, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-620-6061.
Photos by Elizabeth Blankespoor/Reston Scholarship Fund
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