April 2007

Full-Ride Trachtenberg Scholarships Awarded to Nine D.C. Public School Seniors

Serena Wong (left) shows off her Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship with Thaddisa Fulwood, GW assistant director of undergraduate admissions.

Nine academically talented D.C. Public High School seniors got the surprise of their lives March 15: Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarships worth more than $200,000 each.

“Being awarded the scholarship was incredibly exciting,” says Serena Wong, a School Without Walls student and one of this year’s scholarship recipients. “It’s an amazing opportunity,” says Wong, who plans to study international relations at GW. The full, four-year scholarships cover tuition, room and board, books, and fees.

Trachtenberg scholarships were also awarded to Samuel Collins Jr., Jimmy Gomez, Emily Persons, and Minh Phan from Banneker Academic High School; Emily Olmsted, from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts; Marcus Hendricks
and Kristin Smith from School Without Walls; and Sesen Gidey from Wilson Senior High School. The scholarships were presented in ceremonies at each of the students’ respective schools.

“These nine students represent the talent and intellect of the future leaders of the District of Columbia, and we welcome their contributions to our University and our city,” says GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. “They will join a select group of GW students and alumni. From its inception, this has been a very special project for me. It is a source of great pride and represents both a way to give back to our community and invest in our best and brightest young citizens.”

GW selects students based on class rank, GPA, SAT scores, course of study, teacher recommendations, leadership qualities, community service, and other extracurricular activities and achievements. The scholarships are renewed annually provided the recipients meet the University’s academic progress standards. Formerly the GW 21st Century Scholarships, the awards program was renamed for
Trachtenberg by the GW Board of Trustees in 1998 to celebrate his 10th anniversary as GW president.

“The Trachtenberg Scholarship award was a life changing moment for me,” says scholarship recipient Christopher Harvell, B.S. ’98. “It changed the way I viewed school and provided clarity in my life and my career goals. It was a tremendous opportunity, which laid the foundation for future academic endeavors and success.”

Harvell received the scholarship in 1993, and graduated from GW with a degree in electrical engineering. Harvell also attended Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business on a full scholarship, earning an M.B.A. in 2005. He is now an associate at Credit Suisse Securities USA in New York City.

The program, now in its 18th year, has awarded scholarships to 93 academically talented D.C. Public High School seniors. GW’s total commitment since the inception of the program is more than $13.5 million. The scholarships, along with other grants and work-study programs, make GW the largest single post-secondary contributor of aid to D.C. Public Schools for the last 14 years.

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