2015 Stuart Educational Foundation Scholarship Recipients
In 2015, the Foundation was pleased to be able to award scholarships to 68 motivated and deserving students. Here is just a sample of their inspiring stories.
Fathima moved to the US from Sri Lanka in high school. Although she had to adapt to a new culture, learn English, and navigate a different school system, Fathima had a remarkably successful high school career. As she described her situation, “everything seemed like color squares in the Rubik's cube which I had to solve faster in order to graduate high school on time.” She particularly excelled in Studio Art winning a national Silver Medal Scholastic Art Award and earning the following praise from her teacher, “Fathima has the eye of an artist, brain of an engineer, interpersonal intelligence of a psychologist, and strength of an activist.” She attends George Mason University.
Jesse credits the three middle school years he spent in Ghana with teaching him many life lessons — including the value of an education. He returned to the US and pursued a wide variety of extracurricular activities including robotics, peer mediation, photography, and track and field. When Jesse began in track and field, his peers teased him saying he would never make varsity. So Jesse took on the challenge, worked hard in the weight room for two years, and accomplished his goal by reaching the Regional Finals in the triple jump event. Jesse attended a summer leadership course at the High Mountain Institute on a full scholarship. The program’s Director wrote, “I have no doubt that Jesse's positive attitude, altruistic leadership, and ability to thrive and learn outside of his comfort zone will take him very far.” Jesse attends Rutgers University.
Jasmin was selected to participate in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 2014 Ready to Lead Next Gen Program. She so impressed the leaders of the program that she was a guest speaker at their Hispanic Heritage Awards Gala. An active volunteer, she mentored three ESOL freshman, served as a catechism teacher at her church, tutored children at a community center, and each summer traveled to the Shenandoah Valley to participate in improving low-income families’ homes. She has a passion for helping the Hispanic community and hopes to become an immigration and civil rights lawyer. As she wrote in her essay, “I, want to protect the rights of those who are like me, but may not have the documents or the education to fight for their rights.” She attends McDaniel College.
Nathalie grew up in a single parent household. In the middle of high school, she had to take on great responsibility when her mother began to loose her eyesight due to cataracts. Nathalie performed many household tasks, ran errands, cared for her younger brother and ailing mother, while still putting in the hours needed to complete the work required of a full IB diploma candidate. The summer after her junior year she was selected to attend YES: Youth Engagement through Science Summer Program at the National Zoo. Her mentor praised her maturity level, integrity, initiative and her passion for learning. Nathalie also found time to volunteer in the community at the local multicultural center helping Vietnamese residents prepare for the U.S. Citizenship exam, as a member of the Stuart Key Club, and playing with children living at Patrick Henry Shelter House. She attends George Washington University.
Priyam immigrated to the US from Bangladesh in his 9th grade year and worked hard to learn English and grow accustomed to American culture. One of his teaches wrote that “Priyam has an enthusiasm and joy for learning that makes him the sort of student any teacher would love to have.” He worked part-time, volunteered in the school library and as a tutor, and even found time to play cricket. Priyam wants to study medicine and return to Bangladesh to help those in need. When he was in middle school, the mother of a good friend died from lung cancer. But Priyam wrote in his essay, ”In my opinion, she died because of money. They did not have money to take her to a hospital and buy medicine. From that day, I promised to myself that when I grow up, I'll make sure that people like them get free treatment.” He attends George Mason University.
Despite Star’s complicated family and living situation, she persevered through high school. Her recommenders spoke highly of her maturity, work ethic, and ability to rise to a challenge. In addition to completing school work and working to help support herself and her brother, she found time to volunteer with her church and in the community including being a coach/mentor at youth volleyball clinics. A student-athlete all four years at Stuart, Star wants to pursue Exercise Science in college. As she wrote in her essay, “I want to be a role model and motivate students to make healthy choices. I believe educating students on the benefits from staying active and playing sports will help them get on the right path.” She attends Old Dominion University.