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CHS student wins $50,000 Couric scholarship

A Charlottesville High School senior is the recipient of the Emily Couric Leadership Forum’s top college scholarship.

Kaymin Hester, who is undecided what college she will attend in the fall, received the $50,000 Emily Couric Leadership Scholarship. Ten other area students are receiving $18,000-$38,000 scholarships.

Hester plans to become a neurosurgeon and author, according to leadership forum organizers. She hopes her “prolific writing and passion for volunteerism will continue to inspire her community with a sense of curiosity and adventure about fields ranging from music to medical technology,” they said.

The 11 area high school students were nominated by Charlottesville and Albemarle schools and were recognized at an event Monday. The organization is awarding $250,000 in college scholarships this year.

Katharina Ravichandran, a senior at Albemarle High School, is the winner of the 2022 Joshua J. Scott Merit Award, which grants $38,000.

When Ravichandran learned that many local families were suffering through food insecurity, she founded the nonprofit Students Working Against Hunger to enlist students across the region in food drives and restaurant food recovery.

Sonja Hoel Perkins, an alumna of Albemarle High School and University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, is the winner of the forum’s annual Women’s Leadership Award. Perkins founded Broadway Angels, a network of top venture capitalists and executives who all happen to be women.

Perkins addressed the scholarship recipients and other attendees at the awards event Monday.

Meredith Gunter, chairwoman of the Couric Forum board, said the organization updated its scholarship funding formula in order to keep pace with the rising costs of a college education.

This year’s total amount is a 136% increase from what the forum gave out last year.

Gunter said the organization wanted to increase the scholarships as a result of prudent management of its long-term fund, which was aided by successful fundraising, loyal sponsors and healthy returns in the financial markets.

“The Emily Couric Leadership Forum is passionate about educating high potential young women,” Gunter said. “Our goal is to inspire emerging leaders by connecting them to role models like Sonja Perkins. We are confident that these exceptional students will continue to demonstrate leadership in their future endeavors and are so grateful to sponsors and donors who are investing in women’s leadership.”

Those receiving $18,000 scholarships are:

Abbey Ellerglick, Renaissance School

Hannah Laufer, St. Anne’s-Belfield School

Bailey Logan, Monticello High School

Anneka Myers, Community Lab School

Riley Perrault, The Covenant School

Darrah Sheehan, Western Albemarle High School

Noelle Straka, Regents School

Iris Susen, Tandem Friends School

Delaney J. White, Miller School of Albemarle


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