Announcing The Ryan Wicka Scholarship: Education Goes Beyond The Classroom

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CampLauncher, a 501c3 organization, and the Wilkins-McKee family of Manassas, Virginia, are pleased to announce The Ryan Wicka Scholarship: Education Goes Beyond The Classroom.

CampLauncher raises funds to provide need-based scholarships for neurodivergent youth (including those with high cognitive autism or with similar neurodivergent profiles) to attend summer camps that are specifically designed to help them reach their potential through transformative camp experiences. CampLauncher partners with camps, families and donors to increase access to life-changing summer camp experiences that these campers would not otherwise have the financial means to benefit from.

In the summer of 2022, Patrick Wilkins-McKee attended one of CampLauncher’s partner camps, Camp Akeela (located in Thetford Center, VT) with the help of his beloved teacher, Mr. Ryan Wicka. Wicka is the Director of Special Education, Athletic Director, Special Education Teacher, Special Education Case Manager, School Bus Driver, Head Football Coach and Head Wrestling Coach at Parkside Middle School in Manassas, VA. Inspired by Wicka’s initiative and dedication, Patrick began a CampLauncher fundraiser in April 2023 to establish a scholarship in Wicka’s name.

Fundraising was supported by the efforts of Jonathan V. Last, editor of The Bulwark, and his readers. To date, donors have contributed approximately $16,000.

Mr. Wicka will be honored at a private event on May 20, 2023 for his commitment to his students and his creativity in meeting the needs of the students inside and outside the classroom.

The Ryan Wicka Scholarship will be awarded to a 2023 Camp Akeela camper who has been accepted to the camp and demonstrated financial need according to CampLauncher’s eligibility guidelines.

For more information, please contact, Marissa Siegman, Director of Advancement and Administration. Her email address is:

For more information about Patrick and Mr. Wicka’s story, here is the fundraising video. This is not a request for funds or a solicitation!


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