Community Foundation for Northern Virginia Awards over $500K in Scholarships

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Provided by Community Foundation for Northern Virginia

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has awarded $506,600 in scholarships for the 2024-2025 school year to 114 students pursuing higher education. This substantial financial support encapsulates the 35 Community Foundation scholarship funds launched by individual donors over the years wishing to make a difference for students in Northern Virginia and beyond. These efforts reflect the Foundation’s commitment to fostering educational opportunities and supportive legacies throughout the region.

Individual scholarship awards range from $1,500 to $6,000 for students pursuing a particular field of study (at the undergraduate or graduate level) or with specific skills-based interests. More than 50 dedicated volunteers scrutinized over 500 scholarship applications this year, demonstrating the Community Foundation’s deep investment in the academic futures of Northern Virginia’s youth.

Introducing The Scholarship Fund for Northern Virginia

Building on the success of the scholarship awards program, the Community Foundation launched The Scholarship Fund for Northern Virginia in December 2023 to address the financial hurdles associated with the first year of college tuition. As an endowment, this fund is a component of The Permanent Fund for Northern Virginia, designed to offer lasting support for graduating seniors from Northern Virginia’s nine public school systems who plan to attend a public university or community college in Virginia.

This fund will bolster the impact of the Community Foundation’s scholarship program while promoting social and economic mobility in Northern Virginia, one of the Community Foundation’s strategic priorities for the region. Indeed, it will directly support students from under-resourced and English Second Language families. These students often view higher education’s initial tuition costs as an insurmountable barrier to college.

“We are honored to be the inaugural donors of The Scholarship Fund for Northern Virginia,” said Meera and Shankar Pillai, Northern Virginia natives and advisors of the Pillai Family Fund at the Community Foundation. “This fund is dedicated to helping local students achieve their dreams of higher education at a Virginia public institution. We believe that investing in these deserving students not only transforms their lives but also cultivates the future leaders of our region.”

2024 Scholarship Awardees

Below is a list of the Community Foundation’s 2024 scholarship recipients from Prince William area high schools, and the scholarships they have been awarded. Please note that the following symbols denote:

*Scholarship Committees Managed by the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia

+Renewed support for scholarship recipients from the previous year

*Amin Family Scholarship Fund, $5,000 each

Provides scholarships to graduating students from Unity Reed High School intending to pursue a degree in healthcare.

  • Mia Pytel – Unity Reed HS, attending Longwood University

*AMS Opportunity Scholarship Fund, $2,500 each

Provides scholarships to graduating high school seniors in Northern Virginia who are interested in continuing their education in the STEM fields.

  • Jayden Ko – Gainesville HS, attending Virginia Tech

*Ashworth Grogan Scholarship Fund, $5,000 each

The Ashworth Grogan Scholarship Fund was established to benefit high school seniors residing in Northern Virginia and college students at Northern Virginia Community College pursuing an advanced certification or degree in the education and health fields.

  • A Unity Reed High School student who wished to be anonymous won this scholarship

Barbara Cornwell Memorial Scholarship Fund, $5,000

Supports graduating seniors from Unity Reed High School in Manassas seeking post-secondary education.

  • Caden Johns – Unity Reed HS

*Louise Lightner Jamison Teacher Scholarship Fund, $2,000 each

Supports high school seniors residing in Prince William County who plan to pursue an undergraduate degree in education.

  • Lauren Dyas – Battlefield HS, attending James Madison University
  • Jordan Ignacio – Battlefield HS, attending University of Louisville

*Northern Virginia First Responders Scholarship Fund, $4,000 each

Supports first responders and dependents of active first responders in Northern Virginia by helping finance their higher education.

  • Alice Haeske – Osbourn Park HS, attending Kellogg Community College

*Vance International, Inc. Scholarship Fund, $2,200 each

Supports residents of Northern Virginia pursuing careers in law enforcement or security, including the administration of justice.

  • Grayson Cantarella – Battlefield HS, attending University of Utah

This story has been updated.

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