Loudoun Laurels Launches Scholarship Endowment

The Claude Moore Charitable Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant to the Loudoun Laurels Foundation to support the establishment of the scholarship endowment. The funds match a $250,000 grant made by the May Family Foundation earlier this year.

         The contributions to the Loudoun Laurels Stewardship Trust mark a significant milestone for the organization that was founded in 2008 to recognize the contributions of Loudoun’s longtime civic leaders and, more recently, has put a focus on providing financial support and mentoring to Loudoun students who represent the next generation of leadership. 

         To date, the Loudoun Laurels Stewardship Trust has awarded $800,000 in scholarships to 20 Loudoun County high school students. Each year, the trust awards up to four scholarships in the amount of $40,000 each, dispersed over the four years of students’ undergraduate studies at a Virginia college or university. 

         “The establishment of our endowment is a major milestone for the Loudoun Laurels Foundation and we are grateful for the generous support of the Claude Moore Foundation and the May Family Foundation,” stated Loudoun Laurels President Pat Daly. “During the past six years, our scholarships have been funded through contributions from individuals, foundations and businesses. The endowment will ensure the sustainability of our scholarship program and enable us to increase the number of four-year scholarships we award each year to deserving students who, without these scholarships, may not have the opportunity to attend college.” 

         Claude Moore Foundation Executive Director J. Lambert, who was recognized for his lifetime of community services with an induction as a Loudoun laureate in 2015, said the grant advances Dr. Moore’s directive to improve the community, particularly in the area of education. “The trustees of the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation believe the Loudoun Laurels provide a great social impact to the Loudoun community,” he said.

         Elaine May, executive director of the May Family Foundation, said the partnership with the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation was important the evolution of the Loudoun Laurels mission. 

         “For over a decade, Loudoun Laurels has honored community leaders and the ways they have contributed to making Loudoun the wonderful place it is. More recently, Loudoun Laurels has bestowed scholarships to help grow our future leaders. Many individuals, groups, and institutions have been involved in this effort,” she said. “These combined gifts today recognize the commitment of all the extraordinary women and men of our community and assure these —as one student said “life-changing”—scholarships remain in perpetuity. 

         Of the 20 students who have received Loudoun Laurels Stewardship Trust scholarships, six have graduated and 13 are successfully pursuing their college careers. The graduates have established careers in banking, public service and technology.

         Among the recent scholarship recepients, Ngozi Akingbesote, a Dominion High School Graduate who is a senior at the University of Virginia, is in Los Angeles this summer for an internship at California Institute of Technology where she is conducting research to find genetic markers for diabetes. Sumeet Saini, a Briar Woods high School graduate who is a junior at Christopher Newport University, is an intern with the City of Newport News this summer. Jenae Barnes, also of Briar Woods High School and a senior at George Mason University majoring in Global Affairs, was a Global Politics Fellow at the Wilson Center for Development last year and will intern at the Wilson Center this year.

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