The WOLCF presented an additional $1,000 Travel Scholarship to Myles Bell in recognition that he will be traveling the farthest for college, the University of California, Berkeley. (Courtesy of Give Back Photography)
The WOLCF presented an additional $1,000 Travel Scholarship to Myles Bell in recognition that he will be traveling the farthest for college, the University of California, Berkeley. (Courtesy of Give Back Photography)

About 75 parents, friends, school administrators, community leaders and politicians joined 20 local high school students as they received scholarships from the William O. Lockridge Community Foundation (WOLCF) during its annual Scholarship Awards Ceremony, held at Martha’s Table at the Common, on Saturday, July  8. 

Over 12 consecutive years, the WOLCF has awarded scholarships totaling $305,000 to 123 high school students from Wards 7 and 8. Founded in the spring of 2011 by his widow, Wanda, and family,  the WOLCF is named after the late William O. Lockridge and exists not only in his memory, but as a community vehicle to keep his legacy alive—particularly his mission to close the education gap for youngsters in the community.  

Among those offering congratulations to the graduates, as well as wise words of encouragement were Ward 8 D.C. Council member Trayon S. White, Sr. (D), D.C. Publics Schools Chancellor Dr. Lewis Ferebee, At-Large D.C. State Board of Education Member Jacque Patterson (D), and WOLCF Founder and Chairwoman Wanda D. Lockridge.  

The guest speaker was Shelia Bunn, chief of staff to Ward 7 Council member Vincent Gray.  

Each of the scholarship recipients went through a rigorous application and interview process that included submitting a written essay and answering questions from committee members via Zoom. 

The Lockridge Scholars will depart home next month and begin matriculating in colleges and universities across the United States, including, but not limited, to Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and California. 

The Lockridge Scholars Speak 

WOLCF 2023 scholarship recipient Myles Bell, who is headed to University of California, Berkley, said that receiving the “Spread Your Wings,” scholarship is key to his academic pursuits. 

“Receiving the ‘Spread Your Wings’ Scholarship is of paramount importance as it provides a transformative opportunity that allows me to pursue my dreams and reach new heights. This scholarship not only alleviates the financial burden of education, but also empowers recipients to overcome barriers and seize opportunities that might otherwise be out of their reach, “said Myles. “The ‘Spread Your Wings’ scholarship serves as a catalyst for personal growth and academic excellence, and it’s my privilege to use this scholarship to further benefit my family and community. “ 

As she preps to head to Greensboro, North Carolina to attend Bennett College, Kaziah Heath said the scholarship will allow her to “have more support and opportunities to fulfill [her] dreams.” 

“I will do my best to continue to be worthy of your trust and expectations for my academic career. I will use this money and support to ‘spread my wings’ and succeed in my future endeavors. I will be working hard to study education and creative writing,” said the rising college freshman. “I will be able to focus on my assignments because I won’t be distracted by money costs. Thank you for this opportunity and scholarship because this has made me happy and feel that I have an even bigger support team, who will help me accomplish my goals.” 

Aya Shaw said he will fulfill a lifelong dream when he attends Morehouse this year. 

It has been my dream to attend Morehouse College since I was in middle school, as I believe it is the perfect environment for me to grow and develop as a young man, personally and educationally.” 

The rising Morehouse man will make history in his family when attending Morehouse this year. 

“As the first male on the maternal side of my family to attend college, this scholarship assists with ensuring that I have the opportunity to attend college and relieve my family of some of the financial burden,” Aya said. “This scholarship will also allow me to focus on my studies and fully experience college life without the worry of how my tuition will be paid.   

The organization’s founder and CEO said this year’s scholarship recipients are “an impressive  group of high school seniors.” 

“Throughout the interview process, I got to know each of them and have learned of their hopes, dreams, and aspirations as they prepare to leave home for college,” she said. “I wish them the very best, know that they will make all of us in Wards 7 and 8 proud, and each knows that the WOLCF will be with them every step of the way on this four-year journey.”

Austin R. Cooper, Jr., serves as the President of Cooper Strategic Affairs, Inc. The firm provides legislative, political and communications counsel in Washington, D.C., for governmental, nonprofit and...

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