2021 Named Scholarship Recipients
Over the years, some of our donors have contributed to scholarships created to honor specific individuals or groups. Below are the profiles of the 2021 Named Scholarship awardees.
Decorate a Vet Scholarship
Sebastian is this year’s Decorate a Vet scholar for demonstrating a commitment to the ideals of liberty, duty, and service. Sebastian has not forgotten an extremely difficult experience his family went through at a hospital in his native country of Peru. This incident shaped his goal of pursuing a career in medicine through which he hopes to support patients who are vulnerable and afraid. It is to his family that Sebastian attributes his successes, which are considerable—from learning English as a nine-year old to finishing high school as an IB student. Sebastian has demonstrated the ideals of duty and service through exceptional volunteerism, helping immigrant kids, elderly with Alzheimer’s, and children with Down’s syndrome. He also supports his church as a catechesis supervisor and band piano player. Sebastian is attending George Washington University.
Harriet "Ozzi" Mask Scholarship
Vianca described herself as a shy person who feared speaking in public—until she stepped onto the stage in 10th grade for the first time. The experience changed her life. “Magic” is how she felt when she delivered her first few lines in the school’s presentation of “The Woman” – like she could conquer the world. It gave her the confidence to try new things and even apply to college. She took her new love online, creating videos in English and Spanish to help students last year understand the online schedule, how to use the online platform, and how to keep organized using an agenda and calendar. Positive, friendly, and warm, Vianca dreams of being an actress, and will study theatre and psychology at Juniata College. Vianca received the Ozzie Mask Scholarship, which is awarded to a student who wishes to pursue his or her degree in education, journalism, music, or theater.
Jennifer Discua Hernandez Memorial Scholarship
Carminia was awarded a new scholarship established to support an English learner who will attend Northern Virginia Community College. The scholarship was created by Justice staff and alumni to honor Jennifer Discua Hernandez, a Justice student. Carminia came to this country as an immigrant speaking only Spanish. In four short years, she learned to communicate fluently in English. A straight A student, Carminia threw herself into the school and her community, becoming a student ambassador helping to guide other students who are new to the country, just as she had been, serving as a mentor and role model. Carminia aspires to become a paramedic.
Jeremy Munga Scholarship
The Jeremy Munga Scholarship recognizes the vital role the Justice Athletic Department plays in the school community. This year’s scholar, Giselle, is a softball player who was chosen to be one of the two captains for the JV team. Giselle never believed she could be a good leader as she grew up shy, reserved, and a follower. Yet teaching her teammates to become better athletes felt natural to her, so much so that she received the Coach’s Award for being a great role model on and off the field. Giselle believes serving as co-captain inspired her to take more challenges academically, balance schoolwork and sports, build confidence, and handle responsibility. As the first in her family to attend college, Giselle will continue to use the skills she learned in sports as she makes her way through life. Giselle is attending Marymount University.
Nancy and Eric Svendsen Memorial Scholarship
Vy has been one of Justice’s high-achieving students throughout her time there. Her success is all the more impressive when you learn she moved to the U.S. just before high school. She worked hard to overcome a limited knowledge of English. Within a few years she was earning As and Bs while taking IB courses (including the most advanced math courses the school offers), helping her fellow students with their coursework, and impressing teachers with her intelligence, perseverance, and willingness to participate in class discussions. The loss of several relatives to cancer spurred in Vy a desire to become a doctor. She will take the next steps in that journey when she begins courses at Virginia Tech in Fall 2021. Because of Vy’s hard work, positive outlook, and enthusiasm in helping others, she was presented the Nancy and Eric Svendsen Scholarship. The Svendsens were married for 38 years, had close ties with Stuart High School, and devoted their lives to helping people in the international community.
Nancy J. Weisgerber Scholarship
Melissa’s family was one of the many that was disrupted by the global pandemic. One result was that Melissa was forced to spend a significant amount of her non-school hours taking care of a younger sibling and several cousins. When time permitted, she participated in clubs at Justice—psychology, STAR (advocating on political issues of interest to the immigrant community), and Girl Up (working to make feminine hygiene products more accessible to Fairfax County students). She also received a great deal of satisfaction from being part of the school’s chorus. As Melissa became an upperclassman, her grades got better in parallel with her taking more honors courses. Now that she’s graduated from Justice HS, she aims to pursue a degree in social work. Melissa was presented with the Nancy J. Weisgerber Scholarship. Ms. Weisgerber was a Fairfax County educator before finishing her career as the principal of Stuart HS for much of the 1990s.
Noreen Thomas Scholarship
Playing soccer on a travel team and playing in the school orchestra were constants during the four years of Bryan’s time at Justice HS. While reading recommendations from Bryan’s soccer coach and orchestra instructor, certain themes emerge. One is a young man who is dedicated to improving his craft—either on the pitch or in the pit. Another is someone who is willing to help his teammates, fellow musicians, and classmates improve their own skills. Finally, there is his grace under pressure, as evidenced by the leadership Bryan demonstrated in working with his teachers when COVID-19 necessitated remote learning. Bryan was awarded the Noreen Thomas Scholarship, which honors a former Stuart parent, PTSA member, and Band Booster volunteer. Bryan will take his positive outlook to Mary Baldwin University, where he will study engineering.