The LEAD RIGHT Scholarship Fund was established to recognize, celebrate and affirm Authentic Leadership among underrepresented students of color in the Washington, DC/Metropolitan area. We believe more of these students deserve to be seen and heard on college campuses. Their experiences inform their decisions to improve themselves through the pursuit of post-secondary educational opportunities, ultimately resulting in displays of selfless and righteous leadership in their homes, schools and communities.
Recent reports indicate that the college enrollment rate for Black and Hispanic students hovers well below 40%, with both tied at 36%, compared to 65% for Asian students and 41% for White students (The Condition of Education 2019). These percentages are even lower for American Indian/Alaska Native students.
This year, 26 high school students of color submitted applications for the LEAD RIGHT Scholarship. Submitted applications were reviewed and scored by a six-member panel of DMV Youth Coalition members. Based on feedback received from Selection Panel members, all 26 applicants qualified on the basis of race and ethnicity.
Statistically, 76 percent of the submitted applications came from students of color residing in Northern Virginia, specifically Prince William County, while another 12 percent from Washington, DC and 12 percent from Maryland. Twenty-seven percent (27%) of the applicants will be considered first-generation college students in Fall 2020, the remaining 73 percent (73%) second-generation.
Secondary schools represented by our 2020 mix of LEAD RIGHT Scholars include Battlefield High School (Haymarket, VA), Brentsville District High School (Nokesville, VA), CD Hylton High School (Woodbridge, VA), Clarksburg High School (Clarksburg, MD), Forest Park High School (Woodbridge, VA), Frederick Douglass High School (Upper Marlboro, MD), Freedom High School (Chantilly, VA), Garfield Senior High School (Woodbridge, VA), KIPP DC College Prep School (Washington, DC), North Point High School (Waldorf, MD), Osbourn Park High School (Manassas, VA), Patriot High School (Nokesville, VA), Stonewall Jackson High School (Manassas, VA), and Washington Latin Public Charter School (Washington, DC).
The names and brief biographies for each of the DMV Youth Leadership Coalition’s 2020 scholarship recipients are listed below.
2020 LEAD RIGHT SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
The 2020 recipients of the DMV Youth Leadership Coalition’s four LEAD RIGHT Scholarship awards include (females) Arrington Evans and Sofia Posada and (males) Kyle Woodson and Eric Sledge. Each recipient will receive monetary awards of $5,000 for use during their first year of post-secondary instruction. Renewal of the $5,000 monetary awards will be based on recipients’ maintaining 3.5 (or better) grade point averages each consecutive academic year for no more than three (3) years, with the total amount awarded not exceeding $15,000/recipient.
ARRINGTON EVANS is a 2020 graduate of Battlefield High School (Haymarket, Virginia). She will be attending Virginia Commonwealth University in Fall 2020, majoring in Pre-Law – Political Science and Government.
Arrington is passionate about criminal justice reform, civic activism and politics. These passions have increased her desire to pursue a legal career as a Defense Attorney in the court system.
During her tenure at Battlefield High School, Arrington actively participated in numerous clubs like Student Council Association, Debate and Mock Trial, and sports like Soccer and Track & Field. She also assumed leadership roles in Battlefield High School’s Black Student Union and Modern Media Club. While her participation in these extracurricular activities have been important to her development, she also drew satisfaction from being invited to participate in programs such as Envision’s Intensive Law and Trial Program at Stanford University, Virginia Girls State, and the Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Pre-Law Institute at the University of Richmond. Arrington also participated in her church’s AWANA Club, a Christian-based program that increases youths’ understanding of the Holy Bible.
SOFIA POSADA is a 2020 graduate of Washington Latin Public Charter School (Washington, DC), which she has attended since the fifth grade. She will attend Georgetown University in Fall 2020.
Sofia was born in Washington, DC and raised by Hispanic parents. She is fluent in English and Spanish, proficient in French, and has acquired an advanced level of the Latin language.
While attending Washington Latin Public Charter School, Sofia was a member and co-captain of the varsity soccer team, as well as the principal pianist in the Jazz Band. She was also a member of the Student Government/Community Council, the Environmental and Rome clubs. She proudly founded the latter to ensure that no student would be left behind on the school’s flagship trip to Rome, Italy.
Throughout high school, Sofia was actively involved in a variety of community service initiatives. Locally, she worked with humanitarian organizations dedicated to feeding the homeless. She also traveled abroad to Mexico and Central America to work with marginalized children and indigenous populations in rural and jungle settings. During her freshmen year, Sofia spent four months in Montevideo, Uruguay in an intensive study abroad program.
Sofia has received numerous academic distinctions, including the prestigious academic achievement award and the merit award in recognition of both her intellectual abilities and accomplishments, and her leadership roles. On weekends she works at a French bakery, and, during her spare time, she loves to play the piano (she is a trained Classical pianist) and hike in the woods with her dog Scooby Doo.
KYLE WOODSON is a 2020 graduate of Battlefield High School (Haymarket, Virginia). He will attend the University of Virginia in Fall 2020 as an Echols Scholar.
While attending Battlefield High School, Kyle was a dedicated member of the school’s Student Council Association (SCA), serving as Student Body Historian during his senior year. Throughout his tenure, Kyle expanded the club’s social media presence in order to further connect with a student body of almost three-thousand.
Kyle also served as a member of the Virginia Student Councils Association Advisory Committee, where he developed and coordinated the 2020 State Service Project. This project was aimed at benefiting underprivileged children throughout the Commonwealth. Furthermore, Kyle was the Treasurer of National Honor Society at his school, where he facilitated the collection of dues and maintained attendance records for a chapter of over 330 members.
As a three-year veteran of his school’s top orchestral performance group, the Battlefield Philharmonia, Kyle served as Principal Viola and had the rare opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He also has been a member of the varsity swim and dive team since his freshman year, serving as a captain in 2020. As a high school senior, he led the boy’s team to its first Regional Championship in program history.
Outside of school, Kyle volunteers weekly at his church as a violist in the youth choir and band. During the summer months, he also works as a swim coach with his neighborhood swim team.
ERIC SLEDGE is 2020 graduate of Stonewall Jackson High School (Manassas, Virginia). He will attend Claflin University (Orangeburg, South Carolina), where he will pursue a degree in Computer Engineering while playing collegiate baseball.
Some of Eric’s high school accomplishments and community activities include: All-District Honorable Mention – Outfielder; Raider Most Valuable Player Award; Varsity Baseball Team Captain; Two Sport Athlete Award; High School Academic Award; National Honor Society Parliamentarian; Two-Term Vice President for the Student Activities Leadership Council; Prince William County School Board Student Senator; Prince William County Youth Salute; National Council on Youth Leadership; 2019 National Kappa League Student of the Year (3rd place) representing the Woodbridge Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; Two-term Vice President for Kappa League; Student Mentor at Ellis Elementary; 2019 Virginia Boys State – Chair of the Electoral Board (representing American Legion Post 10, Manassas, VA); Mustang Track Club Assistant Coach Internship; and Greater Manassas Baseball League Assistant Coach Internship.
Eric credits his success to his parents’ love, wisdom and spirituality, as they have nurtured and guided him in his preparation for the next stages of life.
Eric’s favorite quote is, “You write your own destiny. Whatever you think about, you will consequently become. Dream big, write down your goals, and get to action.”