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2018 Stuart Educational Foundation Scholarship Recipients

In 2018, the Foundation was pleased to be able to award scholarships to 81 motivated and deserving students. Here is just a sample of their inspiring stories.

Paola was a bilingual IB Diploma candidate who stood out for her cultural awareness and the depth of her volunteer commitments and advocacy work.  She served as president of HACAN Students Training in Advocacy and Responsibility; the group lobbied state government officials about issues impacting the Hispanic community.  She participated in a Bolivian dance troupe for many years. Throughout high school, she tutored and mentored elementary school students at the local community center and recruited other students to volunteer.  During her senior year, she served as president of both the Spanish Honor Society and Spanish Club. Paola managed all of these extracurriculars and academics while working part-time at Michael’s. One recommendation noted, “This is one student with a big heart.  She is her family’s rock.” A first-generation college student, she is attending George Mason University.

Naila was recommended as a resilient and determined student who set ambitious goals and worked hard to achieve them. She demonstrated a genuine desire to improve her community through her volunteer efforts with Islamic Relief, the Northern Virginia Democrats, and Dar Al Hijrah Weekend School where she taught Arabic. During the summer of 2017 and into the school year, she worked on a program to tutor low-income immigrant children in reading skills. Her other extracurricular activities included Model United Nations, the Muslim Student Association, Black Student Union, and Girls Up. After developing an interest in lacrosse as team manager her freshman year, she practiced hard and made the varsity squad her junior and senior years. Naila was an IB Diploma candidate and attends George Washington University.

Abian moved to the U.S. from Ethiopia at the age of 7 and has had to take on many responsibilities in a single-parent household. He arrived at Stuart High School after having moved twice in his freshman year. Each of his recommenders commented on Abian’s maturity beyond his years, his love of learning, and the initiative he takes both in and out of the classroom. He was an active member and leader in both the Chess Club and the Future Directors Club. He was selected for an internship at Virginia Tech’s Thinkabit Lab assisting with developing and implementing STEM education programs in technical career exploration. His volunteer work included tutoring middle school students at the local library in math and reading skills and providing child care and supporting events at his Ethiopian Orthodox Church. He worked at a coffee shop starting in his junior year to save money for college. Abian is fulfilling a dream by studying Biomedical Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University.


Iqra moved to the U.S. from Pakistan in 2006 with her family. She helped support her family by caring for her younger siblings while her parents worked long hours. Her high school peers described her as compassionate, a good listener, and a problem solver. These attributes shine through in her activities which included volunteering at INOVA Alexandria Hospital, especially with the elder life program that helps prevent delirium in hospitalized seniors, and as a peer math tutor. She is passionate about pursuing the medical field and was an active member and leader in Medical Explorers Club and the Science Olympiad. Iqra demonstrated her leadership skills as News Editor and Business Manager for the school newspaper and an officer for the Math Honor Society and the Key Club. She was an IB Diploma candidate and is the first in her family to attend college. Iqra attends Georgetown University where she is majoring in Biology.

Christian immigrated to the U.S. as a freshman working hard to learn English and move on to the IB curriculum. His teachers described him as a natural leader, one who is respected by his peers because of his work ethic and positive attitude, maturity beyond his years, and eagerness to learn. One wrote, “Every school should have a student like him.”  Christian made time for an active role in school life—playing varsity track and soccer, rejuvenating the French Club and Honor Society, being twice honored at Student of the Month, and volunteering through Interact and Key Clubs. He did all this while working at Home Depot and helping care for his younger brother. He stayed at Stuart HS an extra year because he was in ESOL classes his freshman year and that was the only way he could earn an IB Diploma. Christian attends George Washington University where he studies International Business.

During her time in high school, Ruth helped her family through challenging times by taking on adult tasks such as paying bills, translating for her parents, and scheduling doctor’s appointments. Despite these responsibilities, she made time to participate in school activities and volunteer in the community. Ruth was active in the Interact and Key Clubs. She was also a member of Girl Up, an organization that helps girls in underdeveloped countries who do not have access to education by raising awareness and organizing fundraisers to send resources. She volunteered weekly at INOVA Alexandria Hospital, assisting patients. Described by her teachers as intellectually curious with an exceptional work ethic, Ruth is the first in her family to attend college.  She is studying Public Health at George Mason University

In 2009, Long immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam with his family. His hard work to learn English and adapt to a new culture has paid off. His teachers all commented on his positive personality, how he led his peers by example, and how he displayed determination with difficult assignments. The manager of the coffee shop at which he worked noted his kindness and patience with their customers needing extra help.  Long’s interests include IFT Taekwondo, which he participated in throughout high school. Long attends Northern Virginia Community College where he is studying Environmental Science.

Kelsie comes from a tight-knit family. She credits her parents with teaching her the value of perseverance and contributing to her optimistic outlook. Her teachers commented on how her positive attitude, leadership skills, and ability to bring out the best in others benefitted her classmates. Kelsie shared her talents as a volunteer with Dreams for Kids, an organization that organizes adaptive clinics for children with physical and developmental disabilities. She also tutored second grade students in reading and writing at the local library. Despite a busy schedule of academics and paid work in retail, she found time to participate in volleyball and lacrosse and even created her own YouTube channel. Kelsie is studying Criminal Justice at James Madison University.

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