Chamber to Host Virginia Secretary of Education, Honor Local Students

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Provided by Prince William Chamber of Commerce

Atif Qarni

The Prince William Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Education & Innovation Breakfast on Friday, April 27 at the beautiful historic Bristow Manor Golf Club, 11507 Valley View Drive, Bristow, from 8:00 -10:30 a. m. Members of the local business and education communities, including the Superintendents from all three school districts, will gather to recognize the efforts of four outstanding local high school students and present them with $2,500 scholarships, supporting their pursuit of higher education. The Office of Congressman Connolly will be presenting Congressional Records to each of the winners. The event is also a showcase for local organizations and businesses focused on education and innovation, attendees will have the opportunity to visit business exhibits.

Sponsored by the Virginia Lottery, the breakfast will feature Keynote Speaker Atif Qarni, Virginia Secretary of Education. Governor Ralph Northam appointed Atif as the state’s Secretary of Education. The Governor stressed that what he valued most was Atif’s many years of teaching experience when evaluating candidates for his cabinet. He was a Prince William County Public Schools educator where he taught civics and economics, U.S History, and mathematics at Beville Middle School in Dale City. He also worked as GED Night School Instructor, helping individuals achieve their high school equivalency diplomas. In 2016, he was awarded Dale City Teacher of the Year. He also served in United States Marine Corps Reserves and was deployed to Iraq in 2003 on Active Duty Assignment during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Atif earned a Bachelor’s in Sociology from George Washington University and earned a Master’s in History and his teaching licensure in secondary education from George Mason University.

The Chamber’s Education & Innovation Committee assists in planning this event and also manages the Chamber’s Student Scholarship Program. Through this program, the Chamber seeks to support higher education and the development of our region’s future workforce by awarding scholarships to graduating high school seniors who have shown a demonstrated commitment to both academic success and community involvement.

Suzanne Lewis, Director of Community Outreach for the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, said, “Year after year we continue to be impressed by the caliber of students coming out of our local school systems. The students receiving the Chamber academic scholarships, along with their individual stories behind their success, are inspiring. When our members hear the accomplishments of these students, the consensus is always the same: “Wow…the future is promising with students like this taking the lead.”

Tickets for the breakfast are available online at or by calling the Prince William Chamber of Commerce at 703-368-6600. Members may attend for $40; non-members may attend for $55.

Additional sponsors include the Speaker Sponsor – Prince William Education Foundation; Student Scholarship Sponsors – Amazon Web Services, Lockheed Martin and Micron Technology; Education Vision Partner – Dominion Energy; the Education & Innovation Committee Year-Sponsor – Future Kings; Education & Innovation Sponsor – Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC); and the Ticket to Excellence Sponsor – Professionals by Design.



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