This post was written by Hatchet Reporter Kiara Bhagwanjee.
Lashae Hunter, a senior at Cesar Chavez Public Charter School, arrived at school Wednesday ready to go on a class field trip to the mall to continue work on her thesis project.
Instead, she met University President Steven Knapp, Director of Admissions Karen Felton and GW’s mascot, George, who were at her school to personally deliver an acceptance letter and a full-ride scholarship.
“I let them know that I would not let it go to waste, that I would do whatever it takes to stay in school and put this money to good use,” Lashae said.
Hunter and eight other seniors attending D.C. public schools were awarded the Stephen Joel Trachtenberg scholarship Wednesday, a full-ride scholarship program that was launched 26 years ago for high school seniors from the city.
Without the scholarship to GW, her family would have had to borrow money, apply for scholarships and take out student loans to attend the University, Lashae’s mother, Warrenrenia Hunter, said.
“It is a blessing, it is truly a blessing, I know she will accomplish what she is setting out to be at George Washington,” she said.
In order to be eligible for the scholarship, students must be nominated by their high school counselors, submit an application and participate in an on campus interview, which is the final component of their applications.
Those that apply for the scholarship are assessed holistically for their academic performance, the rigor of their curriculum, their extracurricular activities and the future they see for themselves with an undergraduate degree in hand, Felton said.
“Trachtenberg scholars distinguish themselves in high school and when they come to GW they are leaders through our programs and when they graduate, they go on to lead illustrious careers,” Felton said.
Knapp said the scholarship was a way to add diversity and richness to campus life, by bringing in local students who might not otherwise be able to attend the University.
“Frankly it’s very important to our democracy that people from all communities within the nation have the opportunity to benefit from what our nation makes available to them,” he said in an interview. “We’ve mobilized a university wide effort to get everyone to see college as a possibility in their future.”