2023 Justice High School Scholarship Recipients
In 2023, the Foundation was pleased to be able to award scholarships to 84 motivated and deserving students. Here is a sampling of their inspiring stories.
Described by her teachers and counselors as smart, hard-working, witty, kind, honest with herself and others, and intrinsically driven to attain her goals despite the obstacles she might face, Lizbeth is doubtlessly bound for success. Her road has not always been an easy one, but rather than being discouraged by challenging circumstances she has found ways to work efficiently and with great determination. This has propelled her to success in juggling rigorous coursework for the International Baccalaureate diploma, membership in a variety of honor societies and activities, working up to 25 hours per week, and helping her family at home. People around her are motivated by her positive spirit and determination. She was recently inspired to volunteer over the summer at the daycare center where she had been cared for as a young child. She looks forward to studying international business and political science at Emory University with hopes of pursuing humanitarian work in the United Nations.
Nour is passionate about the root meaning of her name, “path of light.” She is known for her positive and upbeat outlook on life, despite the challenges she has faced. As a high school student, she balanced a commitment to supporting her family, advancing her education, and, as the administrator for a virtual support group, helping other Muslim women find their place in the world. Nour took a rigorous International Baccalaureate course load at Justice HS and participated in the Model United Nations program. This is personal for her. Her family fled violence during the Libyan civil war, which influenced her plans to study politics at George Washington University with the goal of working as a U.N. political affairs officer
As a preschooler, a curious Rihan accidentally wandered into the giraffe enclosure while visiting a zoo. She has that same inquisitive nature today. Her teachers and counselor describe her as humble, caring, joyous, and a good friend. She is proud of her heritage and represents her community with pride. One of her sisters was born prematurely, so Rihan is studying biology at American University with plans to become a doctor so she can help other families like hers. She held down a job while in high school, volunteered at her religious institution, danced competitively, and played both tennis and basketball.
As an immigrant from Afghanistan, Zoahil first moved to California and then came to Justice High School for her junior year. She immediately found herself at home in the diversity that Northern Virginia has to offer. Her engagement at school improved, and on top of taking care of her siblings, she participated in school activities and worked to support her family. Her teachers say Zoahil went out of her way to sit next to students who struggled and help her classmates with coursework. She is studying computer science at George Mason University and is interested in the field of robotics.
“Teenagers say their parents can’t understand them, but for me, it’s true – we speak different languages.” Dena’s accomplishments—a 4.47 GPA, starting the Self Care Club, playing the clarinet in marching band, playing on the tennis key club, winning Promising Girl Engineer—are astonishing given her particularly difficult circumstances. Dena’s parents were very low income, but the lack of a common language created special challenges. Her parents speak a rare Chinese dialect, a language Dena only knows a little because her parents were often working when Dena was young. Dena realized her parents were mismanaging their medications due to the language barrier and income limitations. She became their health advisor and advocate, which was augmented when she took the Pharmacy Technician academy class and worked at a pharmacy, encountering many patients who had similar language barriers. Through these experiences, Dena formed her goal to become a nurse. Dena also looks forward to learning about her culture and native language at the University of Virginia
Described as a mature and hard-working student, Luis has overcome obstacles to achieve important goals at Justice HS. He invested extra effort to meet the International Baccalaureate diploma requirements, taking three high-level courses over two years, and to be selected for the varsity soccer team after recovering from surgery that had kept him from progressing alongside his peers. He also was active in the school’s Hispanic Honor Society and in service projects that benefitted the community. He vows “never to stay still and not help,” which is an attitude seen by his soccer coach who always found Luis arriving to practice early and leaving late, lending a hand with equipment. Players looked up to Luis’ leadership and benefitted from the encouragement he provided. Luis looks forward to studying cybersecurity at George Mason University, preparing him to solve computer-related problems and protect computer systems from malicious hackers.