From left: Scholarship winners Tylan L. Reeves, Tuscarora High School, Leesburg; Adriana H. Jones, Heritage High School, Leesburg; Zoe Price, T.C. Williams High School; Naomi M. Nero, Oakton High School, Vienna; and Justin H. Moore, Forest Park High School, Woodbridge.
Photo by Kel B Pics Photography
The Northern Virginia Urban League (NVUL) honored Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax, former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder and Fairfax, Virginia native Cadet Simone Askew, first African-American female commander at West Point, all of whom represent groundbreaking firsts for the state and the nation.
Over $32,500 in scholarships were awarded to local minority Northern Virginia students, including a first-time youth award to 11-year old Naomi Wadler, the Alexandria fifth grader who spoke at the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C.
The honors were presented at the 28th Annual Community Service and Scholarship Awards event on April 27th at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner. Additionally, the gala program, emceed by radio personality Angela Stribling of WHUR 96.3, paid homage to the historic landmark, Freedom House Museum in Alexandria and kicked off a Capital Campaign to preserve the site, which was once headquarters for the largest domestic slave-trading firm in America and now serves as headquarters for the NVUL. Mayor Alison Silberberg presented a proclamation to NVUL Board Chair Tracey Walker and paid tribute to NVUL’s work in the areas of education, jobs, and justice in her remarks.
Honorees recognized as Community Champions included:
Lt. Gov. Justin E. Fairfax - Man of the Year Award.
Former Gov. L. Douglas Wilder - Lifetime Achievement Award.
Cadet Simone Askew (First African-American female to hold the position of First Captain of the U.S. Military Academy's Corps of Cadets - commanding a brigade of 4,400 (West Point) - Emerging Leader Award.
Naomi Wadler (Youth Activist) - Young Emerging Leader Award.
SunTrust Bank Greater Washington - Outstanding Corporate Sponsor Award.
Board Chair Tracey Walker said, “‘Preserving Our History and Empowering the Future’ is a fitting theme for the evening. The dark memories of the antebellum past are now inspiring achievements of these amazing leaders and scholars. Their accomplishments represent hope, pride, reconciliation and effective pathways forward to an empowered tomorrow. The League is proud to serve the community with programming to make a difference for the future.”
Seniors receiving a college scholarship in the amount of $5,000 each were: Clarence T. Brown III, Charles J. Colgan, Sr. High School, Manassas; Adriana H. Jones, Heritage High School, Leesburg; Justin H. Moore, Forest Park High School, Woodbridge; Naomi M. Nero, Oakton High School, Vienna; Zoe Price, T.C. Williams High School; Tylan L. Reeves, Tuscarora High School, Leesburg.
Monies raised from the gala will support Preservation of the Freedom House Museum and its new Capital Campaign, STEM Education Programs, STEM Summer Camps, STEM Technology Expositions, Mentoring Programs, Leadership Development Programs for Young Professionals, and $32,500 in Scholarship Awards to Minority Youth.
For more information about the Northern Virginia Urban League, visit www.nvul.org or call 703-836-2858.