Junior League of Washington Announces 2017 Scholarship and Poetry Contest Winner

School Without Walls Senior Lawrence Cross Receives $10,000 Scholarship

WASHINGTON, DC – The Junior League of Washington (JLW) is pleased to award Lawrence Cross with the 2017 Meg Graham Scholarship, a $10,000 award honoring a graduating high school senior living in Washington, DC, who has excelled academically and demonstrated commitment toward community involvement.

A senior at DC’s School Without Walls, Cross will attend North Carolina A&T State University in the fall, where he plans to major in business marketing. He has been involved in DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s DC Youth Advisory Council, was selected as a LearnServe Fellow, and participated in a service learning trip to Zambia with LearnServe International.

For 35 years, JLW has awarded the Meg Graham Scholarship to Washington, DC, students demonstrating outstanding voluntarism. The $10,000 scholarship is in memory of the late Reverend Margaret M. Graham, former president of the Association of Junior Leagues International and former member of JLW. Applications for the scholarship are open to high school seniors who are residents of Washington, DC, and attend a public or charter high school located in the city.

“The Junior League of Washington is honored to bestow the Meg Graham Scholarship to Lawrence Cross, an outstanding and inspiring student. His commitment to giving back to and improving the world around him epitomizes the Junior League mission to build better communities through volunteer service,” JLW President Elizabeth Keys said. “We wish him the best of luck in his future – we know he’ll go far.”

“This year, we are also excited to award book scholarships to our runners-up, helping three additional DC students further their education,” Keys said. “We are continually amazed by the students who apply for the Meg Graham Scholarship, and we are delighted to be able to recognize and support their community service and scholastic achievement.”

New this year, JLW created Special Recognition Scholarships to provide assistance toward the purchase of college textbooks. The League awarded three high school seniors this scholarship: Ayomide Okulege of School Without Walls; Bethany Pruitt of Washington Mathematics Science Technology Public Charter High School; and Milagros deSouza of Eastern Senior High School.

For more information about the JLW’s 2018 application for the Meg Graham Scholarship, including the availability of and deadline for submission, please email scholarship@jlw.org.

In addition to awarding the Meg Graham Scholarship, JLW has also honored 20 Washington, DC, students for their original poetry as part of the League’s Youth Poetry Contest. Since 2000, JLW has hosted this contest, which is open to DC public and charter school students in grades 4-8, to encourage and support literacy. The League is excited to announce the winners below:

Grade 4

First Place: Natalie Martinez, Stoddert Elementary School, “Siblings”

Honorable Mention: Gia Kuyler, Horace Mann Elementary School, “Old Oak Tree”

Group Entry: Isabela Alves and Isabelle Posner-Brown, Horace Mann Elementary School, “Circle of Seasons”

Grade 5

First Place: Beatrix Stone, Stoddert Elementary School, “A Collection Of Two Poems That Attempt To Understand The Inevitable Meaning Of Life”

Honorable Mention: Bryn Madison, Two Rivers Public Charter Schools, “Alone”

Group Entry: Zoe Lester and Liliana Heimbauer, Two Rivers Public Charter Schools, “The Light and the Dark of Love and Life”

Grade 6

First Place: Arman Thornton, Charles Hart Middle School, “Homeless”

Honorable Mention: Silas Alemayehu, The New Stephen E. Kramer Middle School, “Predator”

Honorable Mention: Amirah Haynes, The New Stephen E. Kramer Middle School, “Only Us Two”

Grade 7

First Place: Jaleel Rush, Charles Hart Middle School, “Epic Poem”

Honorable Mention: Samuel Houser, Charles Hart Middle School, “T-Rex”

Honorable Mention: Betelihem Girma, Center City Public Charter Schools Brightwood Campus, “Trust Issues”

Grade 8

First Place: Dameon Hairston, McKinley Middle School, “The American Dream”

Honorable Mention: Jonetta Harrisson, Center City Public Charter Schools Trinidad Campus, “Oh My Oh My”

Group Entry: Serenity Talley, Fatima Blanco, Katherine Hernandez, Kalkidan Alemsaw, Raymond Education Campus, “Black Lives Matter”

To read the winning poems, please visit our website. For more information about the 2018 poetry contest, contact jlwdcpoetry@gmail.com.