Task Force Chair, Vyllorya Evans
The SWNA Education and Scholarship Task Force thanks Southwest friends, organizations and businesses that helped us to improve the quality of life for youth in the Southwest Community. Since inception, five hundred thirty-one scholarships totaling more than $444,000 have been awarded to 230 youth.
This very successful 45-year scholarship program has expanded to include a tutoring program. Robert St. Cyr leads the effort for the math and English Language Arts (ELA) tutoring at Amidon-Bowen Elementary School. Under its first year of operating (2018), third-grade students came into the program two or three grade levels behind in math. At the end of the year, almost all of the students were either at grade or slightly behind in math. Participating in the program were 37 students and 22 tutors. This year the program was expanded to include grades two through five and ELA. Since Covid-19, St. Cyr has begun to organize virtual tutoring.
The application period for scholarships continues to be open to youth who reside in Zip Code 20024 and wish to pursue, or are pursuing, any course of study at an accredited undergraduate college, university or technical institution. The Scholarship Committee reviews the applications and conducts verification checks. Applicants are judged on a number of factors including acceptance to college or post-secondary institution, scholastic achievements, letters of recommendation, community involvement and a personal essay. The Scholarship Committee reviews the applications and conducts verification checks. Scholarship recipients are required to attend an awards program.
On Sunday, August 4, 2019, the program awarded $28,000 at the 45th awards program held at Westminster Church. Five students were recognized for graduating from college and 19 students received $1,500 scholarships. During the program, keynote speaker, Jan Adams, President and CEO of JMA Solutions, pledged and has made a $10,000 contribution to the scholarship fund. Friends of Southwest DC funded five scholarships representing another increase in the number of scholarships they fund. Approximately 60 people attended the event. Three students received laptops from the Technology Task Force. ESTF members continue to provide support to students and parents on financial, internship and other matters.
Articles featured in the Southwester were: “Tutor of the Month”; the five students that graduated college in 2019; the 45th Scholarship Awards Program; and Ben Sands a 1975 scholarship recipient.