Recipients of the four-year Trachtenberg scholarship are working with the University to boost applications to the selective full-ride scholarship program.
The nine students who received the Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship last year and other SJT scholarship alumni are reaching out to District students to share application information for the fund.
“I feel like this program is unknown to many D.C. residents and kids are least likely to want to stay close to home, so me getting this scholarship made other kids in my high school want to get it,” freshman Angela Bonham, a new SJT scholar who earned the award in the spring, said.
GW pays full tuition, room and board, and other fees for the D.C. high school seniors selected for the program. Students are chosen based on their academic achievement, extracurricular involvement and recommendations.
Bonham emphasized the importance of raising awareness about the program.
“I often advise people who I know to apply because this is a great school and opportunity that I wouldn’t have known about if I hadn’t talked to people,” she said.
The scholarship program was called the GW 21st Century Scholarship when it began in 1989. The scholarship was renamed for President Emeritus Stephen Joel Trachtenberg in 1998 by the Board of Trustees.
“I think it’s a great thing,” Trachtenberg said of the program. “It’s GW giving back to the city’s best and brightest.”
Freshman SJT scholar Torrin King said the scholars have “the opportunity to join a diverse culture of driven students.”
To be considered for the program, students must be nominated by a high school guidance counselor. Students then apply to the University and the program.
Bonham said Executive Dean for Undergraduate Admissions Kathryn Napper was “surprisingly easy” to talk to, and that the interview with Napper was personal and friendly.
In addition to the academic motivation, being scholars at the University also gives the students an incentive to become involved in the GW community.
“I feel a strong connection to the University, so I try to involve myself into a lot of activities that contribute to improving the community here at GW,” Andrew Haynesworth, also a freshman SJT scholar, said.
Bonham said SJT scholars are like family.
“They are people who can relate to the things you go through and people who are always going to be there for support,” Bonham said.
This article appeared in the November 18, 2010 issue of the Hatchet.