Stories of Support

We walk through many doors in life, but sometimes opening a single door can make a world of difference.

Scholarships and fellowships have opened doors for many future leaders at GW.  If you have a scholarship story to share, please tell us about it.

GRAPHIC: Title IX Spotlight: Meena Lakdawala-Flynn, Gymnastics

Title IX Spotlight: Meena Lakdawala-Flynn

Gymnastics alumna gives back through endowed scholarship.

Prashamsha Rayamajhi discussed the impact of scholarships on her own education.

Donors and Recipients Share Impact of Scholarship Gifts

After two years, Celebration of Scholarships and Fellowships Dinner returns to in-person celebration at Kennedy Center’s REACH.

Maryanne Lavan (l), Mikayla Harris, the late Larry Harris and Zachary Harris. (Photo courtesy of Maryanne Lavan)

Larry D. Harris Memorial Law Scholarship Honors Life and Legacy of a Founder of the GW Black Law Student Association

His family opens the door to opportunity for others and commemorates the lifelong priorities of exemplary alumnus instrumental in building GW’s Black Law Student Association.

Professor's gate archway with blue sky with clouds.

Open Doors: LeBlanc Scholars

Funds established by Thomas and Anne LeBlanc in 2018 to help students facing financial setbacks access the opportunities they’ve earned are boosted by new gifts from Trustees, key volunteers and university leadership.
Avonda Fogan, B.A. ’16, recipient of the Stephen Joel Trachtenberg scholarship

Avonda Fogan, B.A. ’16

Avonda Fogan has never been one to follow a narrow path, and her scholarship to GW allow her to invest time and energy into exploring new opportunities, like learning Mandarin Chinese and studying abroad in Beijing.
William Murphy, B.S. ’16, recipient of the Nelson and Michele Carbonell Engineering Endowed Scholarship

William Murphy, B.S. ’16

William Murphy wasn’t always sure he’d go to college at all. A summer job and the Carbonell Engineering Scholarship opened the door to a career in cancer research.
Jasmine Vicencio, B.S. ’16, M.P.H. ‘20, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship recipient

Jasmine Vicencio, B.S. ’16, M.P.H. ‘20

"My family was not going to be able to take out loans,” she said. “So when I found out about the scholarship and realized I didn’t have to worry about the financial burden, I could focus on my studies and my career instead of trying to juggle that with working multiple part-time jobs. It opened up so many options for me."
Theiline Gborkorquellie, M.D. ’13, scholarship recipient in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

On the Path to Helping Children

For Theiline Gborkorquellie, M.D. ’13, her path started when her mother, a nurse, died when she was only 11. The trauma of the event, along with the values of service and care that her mother had instilled in and modeled for her, set her on the path toward a medical career. With the help of scholarships, today, Dr. Gborkorquellie is a pediatrician at Children’s National Hospital.
Moshe Pasternak, B.A. ’17, and his wife, Margarita Bronshteyn, B.A. ’17

Moshe Pasternak, B.A. ’17

Passionate about activism and politics, Moshe Pasternak would still need help to attend GW. His scholarship helped him not only attend but take on unpaid internships, including working on Hillary Clinton's campaign.

GW students arrive on campus with big dreams for their future. With the help of scholarships and fellowships, they’re able to gain peace of mind while focusing their talents and brainpower on achieving their ambitious goals.  Do you have a story on how scholarship funding impacted your life or the life of someone you know?  Please share it with us!

 

Wes Holloway, CCAS art student and advocate.

 

 

Wes Holloway, Class of 2023

Body images and the ways society responds to the human form is a theme that’s defined artist Wes Holloway’s work—and his life. In 2003, Wes suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down.

A recipient of the Morris Louis Art Student Assistant Fund and the Martha Von Hirsh Memorial Scholarship, Holloway is committed to pursuing his dreams of becoming a professional artist, while focusing his craft on deconstructing stereotypes of masculinity, sexuality and body ideals.

“Attending GW puts me in a place where…I am able to tie my artwork into the issues, with the hope that I will create meaningful change in viewpoints and policy,” he said. “Complex problems demand creative strategies. These scholarships have given me the ability to uplift my voice.”

“I can speak to people through art in ways that I can’t always do with words,” he said. “Art has helped open my eyes to what other people have lived through and the universality of what we all go through.”

Read more about Wes
 

 

Jordan Michel, GW Law, Jeanette Michael Memorial Endowed Law Scholarship recipient

 

 

Jordan Michel, Class of 2023

The GW Law student spent decades navigating the labyrinth of immigration law and now uses that understanding to help fight for civil and human rights.  

“I want to serve humanity, and I can see how it might seem weird to join the military in order to help people,” he said. “But people think the same thing about the law: it’s a field that can do a lot of harm, but it has the potential to do so much good. I think being in the military and being on that side of it will teach me some of the realities of humanitarian law in a way that will allow me to apply that knowledge to make real change.”  

"I applied to law school with a dream and a desire to effect change, but with no idea how I would afford it. [Donor funding] goes a long way in making law school possible for me.”

Read more at GW Today

 

Grace Seo, student at GW School of Media and Public Affairs.

 

 

Grace Seo, Class of 2023

Scholarship funding has allowed Grace Seo to devote more energy to her academics and the opportunity to connect with professors and the diverse community of GW.

”It’s really important to not only be involved in your academics and pursue what you want to do as a career, but also—because GW is so diverse—it’s so important to embrace your own culture and heritage,” she said. “Being a part of the Asian-American Student Association has allowed me to meet people who share the same types of problems and issues and perspectives.”

Read more at GW Today

 

Laya Reddy, Class of 2023

 

 

Laya Reddy, Class of 2022

A recipient of the Corcoran Scholars award and Steiner Scholarship, Ms. Reddy is involved with the band and orchestra at GW, and formed a brass quintet in her first year at the university. She appreciates the many concert series hosted by the GW music department, and especially loves the Fridays at Five performances. “Fridays at Five is a great opportunity for students to perform their works in front of a kind and receptive audience. I’ve enjoyed playing at these performances, as well as learning more about other Corcoran students’ works,” she says.

Scholarship funding allows students the freedom to take advantage of all that GW has to offer.

Read more about Laya
 

 

Allison Cameron, GW alumna.

 

 

Allison Cameron, Class of 2022

Allison Cameron knew even as a high school student that she wanted to go to medical school, which would probably entail considerable out-of-pocket expenses.

She chose GW in part because its urban campus and large, diverse student population would offer an exciting new context in which to explore and expand her interests.

”I was always of the mindset that I want to do that thing I’m passionate about, regardless of whether it would be word for word everything they want on a med school application,” she said. “I would rather do things that I really love while I have the time in college.”

Many of those things were made possible by aid, including staying on campus one summer to research the effect of pesticides on honeybee memory, a paper she’s now working on getting published, after years as an undergraduate researcher in the biology department’s honeybee lab.

”There’s so many things I know I wouldn’t have been able to do if not for financial aid,” Cameron said. “I took the EMT class at GW, and being able to take that as part of my course load was super helpful. That’s given me so many opportunities, and now it’s my job.”

Read more at GW Today

 

Andrew Kastner, Class of 2022

 

 

Andrew Kastner, Class of 2022

“With the help of the award from the Richard Lahey and Carlotta Gonzalez Lahey Fund, I can attend GW where my world has opened to a wide range of new experiences.”

“Learning from and with a diverse set of peers, and to work and connect with established artists, drive me to keep expanding my knowledge-base and skill-sets.”

Read more about Andrew