The Prince William County Bar Foundation, in collaboration with the Prince William County Bar Association, was proud to host this year’s Beat the Odds Celebration and Awards Banquet! The event was held on June 23rd at the beautiful Old Hickory Golf Club in Woodbridge. Nearly two hundred guests gathered to celebrate 12 remarkable graduating seniors and 2 rising seniors.
We presented each of the graduating seniors with a $2,000 Beat the Odds scholarship to help them further their education, be it in community college, four-year college, technical and vocational school, apprenticeships, internships, and more. We presented both rising seniors with Phoenix Awards, consisting of a fully loaded laptop computer to further their studies during their senior year. Each Beat the Odds and Phoenix Award winner receives a commemorative plaque and are also paired with a volunteer attorney mentor from the local bar to help guide them in their education.
Prince William County Bar Foundation President Bradley Marshall, who acted as master of ceremonies for the event, said “these kids have overcome tremendous obstacles such as abuse and neglect, delinquency, truancy, foster care, substance abuse, and mental illness, but have persevered to truly ‘beat the odds’ and have bright futures ahead of them.”
This years Beat the Odds winners have big plans for the future. For example, Alyssa graduated with a 4.25 GPA and will be attending Lynchburg University in the fall. Madelyn has overcome tremendous adversity but reminded the crowd that past experiences do not define someone; she will be attending Virginia Commonwealth University later this year. Mariah had a child at a young age, but she used it to motivate her to be a better student; she will attend Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) with plans to transfer to Howard University. Sisters Cynthia, Karen, and Yaharia have faced enormous obstacles, but all three plan to attend NOVA in the fall and transfer to other colleges. Angela, who immigrated from Cameroon, Africa, worked hard to assimilate and will be attending Yale University and plans to go on to medical school. Antwoine, who also won a Phoenix Award in 2021, received a Beat the Odds scholarship this year and will attend Old Dominion University.
These scholarships and awards provide an opportunity for these remarkable young people to overcome their circumstances and maximize their future potential. These opportunities simply would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Thank you to the law firm of Blankingship & Keith, the law firm of Compton & Duling, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #43, the Gratitude Ladies Giving Group, Kevin and Barbara Hutto, the Knights of Columbus John Paul I Council, Philip and Laura Stark, the Carluzzo Foundation, Inc., the law firm of Vanderpool, Frostick, and Nishanian, and our biggest sponsor, who provided not one but five scholarships this year, Wind River Chimes. We cannot think our community partners enough for their support.
The Bar Foundation would also like to thank the PWC Police Department and Sheriff’s Department for providing a joint honor guard for the event, to the Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra for providing the evening’s music, Sorin Pasarin with Little Film Studio for providing photography services, Deem Printing for the printed programs, the wonderful staff at Old Hickory Gold Club for their hospitality, and last but certainly not least, Virginia Governor Glen Youngkin for providing pre-recorded remarks to this year’s winners.
Thank you to all of our donors, volunteers, and guests for attending, and congratulations to these 14 remarkable young people on their tremendous achievements and their very bright futures!
This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute for the advice of legal counsel with respect to specific facts and situations. See disclaimer