Scholarship recipients are congratulated by Chamber leadership. Back row: George Ksenics, Chamber president; Jane Gandee, Chamber vice president; Christian Ceron, West Potomac High School; Cameron Villar, Hayfield Secondary School; Sophie Horville, Edison High School; Mohammed Ali, Mount Vernon High School; front row: Amy Holm, West Potomac High School; Samuel James, West Potomac High School; Katelyn Anne Sparks, South County High School; Amna Wassem, Mount Vernon High School; Florence Marquez, Lee High School; and Sean O’Connell, Chamber chairman.
The Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce honored the recipients of its 2015 Education Partnership Scholarships on June 2 at a reception hosted by The Hilton in Springfield.
Nine graduating high school seniors from local schools were recognized and awarded Education Partnership Scholarships. The scholarship recipients are Mohammed Ali, Mount Vernon High School; Amy Holm, West Potomac High School; Sophie Horville, Edison High School; Samuel James, West Potomac High School; Katelyn Anne Sparks, South County Secondary School; Cameron Villar, Hayfield Secondary School; and Amna Wassem, Mount Vernon High School.
Receiving Jeff Todd Memorial Scholarships were Christian Ceron, West Potomac High School and Florence Marque, Robert E. Lee High School. Todd was a former chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and owner of the Roy Roger Restaurants in the area. He had a great love for the schools and students and the scholarship was established after his death.
"Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce feels very strongly that these scholarships are an investment in education that improves individual lives, our workforce, and our community,” said Sean O’Connell, Chamber chairman.
“Providing these scholarships helps prepare future business owners and leaders for our community” O’Connell said. Since 1997, the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce has awarded more than $155,000 in scholarships to local students.
“The commitment the chamber makes to ensure scholarships each year is extraordinary,” said Holly Dougherty, executive director, Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce. “Our youth are the future, and these scholarships are an investment in the future of our community.”
The 2015 Education Partnership recipients have a diverse range of activities and interests.
- Florence Marque is graduating from Robert E. Lee High School where she is a member of the National Honor Society, the Math Honor Society, the English Honor Society, the Science Honor Society, the National Technical Honor Society, and has volunteered with many charitable causes. She plans to study at Virginia Commonwealth University.
- Christian Ceron is captain of the winning men’s soccer team at West Potomac High School where he has also been involved with the DECA Club and volunteered with community organizations. He plans to study at George Mason University and eventually start his own business.
- Mohammed Ali, Mount Vernon High School, is the ServiceMaster Restore Scholar for 2015. Mohammed has served as the Virginia state president with Future Business Leaders of America. He was also president of the Technology Student Association, a member of the National Honor Society, and volunteers with many school events and clubs including being captain of the debate team. Mohammed will be attending Virginia Tech to study business information technology.
- Amy Holm, West Potomac High School, actively worked on the yearbook throughout her time at West Potomac. She is a student athlete who has excelled in academics. Amy plans to attend University of California at Berkeley and study business technology.
- Sophie Horville has attended Thomas A. Edison High School where she will receive a full IB diploma and is a member of the National Honor Society. She has participated in Future Business Leaders of America and other school clubs and activities. Sophie will be attending University of Mary Washington to study business administration.
- Samuel Edward James, West Potomac High School, is a member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society, and captain of the track team where he received all-state honors. He was selected to attend the Governor’s School for Math, Science and Technology. Samuel will attend Duke University, study biomedical engineering and plans for a certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
- Katelyn Anne Sparks, South County Secondary School, is an honor student specializing in the Theatre Department. She has acted in more than ten productions and led the critic’s team for the CAPPIES award in the national capital area. She is a Congressional Award Gold Medal Recipient for more than 400 hours of community service and physical fitness. She was selected to attend the Virginia Governor’s School for Performing Arts and has been active with the Girl Scouts of America. Katelyn will attend Pace University where she will study the entertainment business.
- Cameron Christopher Villar, Hayfield Secondary School, has received academic excellence awards and been part of the National Honor Society, History Honor Society, and the Math Honor Society while finding time to play in the orchestra and participate in school clubs and activities. Cameron will attend George Mason University seeking a degree in Applied Information Technology to combine his interest in business and technology.
- Amna Wassem, Mount Vernon High School, has served as state vice president and regional president for the Future Business Leaders of America. Amna has managed the Apple Federal Credit Union school branch and coordinated student volunteers at the school store “Major Buck Depot.” She is a member of the National Honor Society and honor societies for English, History, Math, Spanish, and Business. Amna will study international business and finance at George Mason University.