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 email@example.com or at 212-672-9703, and Beth Breger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rappahannock High School senior Mahlet Yirgu continues to impress.