Scholar Mahlet

Rappahannock News - - FRONT PAGE -

The last time we wrote about Rap­pa­han­nock County High School stu­dent Mahlet Yirgu was May 19 when, as a mem­ber of the Vir­ginia State Cham­pion Gov­er­nor’s Chal­lenge Per­sonal Fi­nance team, she and three of her class­mates — Sa­van­nah Stevens, John Paul Riedel and Bryce Jones — cap­tured im­pres­sive 9th place honors in na­tional’s com­pe­ti­tion at Kansas City, Mo.

Now we learn of Mahlet’s se­lec­tion in the pres­ti­gious LEDA Schol­ars Pro­gram, which of­fers a highly se­lec­tive, seven-week, all-costs-paid sum­mer pro­gram on the Prince­ton Univer­sity cam­pus for high achiev­ing, low-in­come high school ju­niors.

Get this: Out of 1,275 ap­pli­cants from across the United States, Mahlet was

one of 100 to be se­lected. She is the first-ever LEDA Scholar from Rap­pa­han­nock County High School.

Eighty-three per­cent of LEDA Schol­ars have at­tended the na­tion's most se­lec­tive col­leges, and in 2016-2017 58 per­cent went to an Ivy League col­lege, MIT, or Stan­ford. LEDA Schol­ars have gone on to work at com­pa­nies such as Google, Teach for Amer­ica, and Cap­i­tal One.

Stu­dents from low­in­come back­grounds are un­der­rep­re­sented at the na­tion’s top uni­ver­si­ties, di­min­ish­ing their op­por­tu­ni­ties to be­come lead­ers in so­ci­ety, ex­plains LEDA’s Kara Daniels. LEDA works to close the gap, ded­i­cated to help­ing th­ese ex­cep­tional young peo­ple over­come chal­leng­ing cir­cum­stances to reach and suc­ceed at the most se­lec­tive col­leges.

“We want to get the news out there to the Rap­pa­han­nock County com­mu­nity so that more peo­ple in the area know about our pro­gram,” says Daniels, point­ing out that LEDA helps guide the stu­dents from the ad­mis­sion process through col­lege grad­u­a­tion and be­yond.

Daniels en­cour­ages Rap­pa­han­nock stu­dents and par­ents to visit the LEDA web­site at www. ledaschol­ars.org). She has also pro­vided us with per­sonal con­tact in­for­ma­tion of LEDA’s top of­fi­cers in the ap­pli­ca­tion process: Joseph Lee, the De­vel­op­ment and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Of­fi­cer at josephlee@ledaschol­ars.org or at 212-672-9703, and Beth Breger at beth­breger@ledaschol­ars.org.

BY JIMMY SWINDLER

Rap­pa­han­nock High School se­nior Mahlet Yirgu con­tin­ues to im­press.

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