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Scholarships hopes to partner with corporations, non-profits, and others, to offer diversity scholarships to school children.

Diversity Scholarships

 We hope to establish a number of scholarships for high school seniors entering college who have epitomized appreciation and encouragement of diversity through their academic, co-curricular and community service. The first scholarship is announced below:

Vikrant Diversity Scholarship

Funds donated by Dr. Anita Nahal, Founder & Chairperson, and Mr. Vikrant Arya, Member, Board of Advisors,

The Vikrant Diversity Scholarship is named for Vikrant Nahal Arya, who immigrated from India to the United States in 2002 and enrolled in  Washington Lee High School, Arlington, VA., where he embraced and promoted diversity through his high school and co-curricular activities.  The Scholarship is an attempt to recognize and encourage young people who, like Vikrant, have made, or are making, efforts to improve harmony among diverse individuals through their academic, co-curricular and community service in their high school. Vikrant graduated from WLH in 2005 and after doing a Bachelor’s in Finance now works for a Finance company in New York City.

In the 21st century one of the major challenges that face our country and our world is how to encourage individuals to increase understanding, appreciation and cooperation among diverse peoples.  Race, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, class, sexual orientation, disability, gender, and culture to name a few are some of the ways that we are diverse. Being willing to address, comprehend and find solutions to the challenges of diversity is a vital task that faces all of us, especially young people upon whom rests the onus to make this world a better place. Vikrant is one such individual. He blossomed in the diverse environment of Washington Lee High School, from which he graduated in 2005. At the same time, he willingly shared his diversity with others, and became a leader in various activities in the school through his determination, grit and dedication. Vikrant graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Finance from Howard University, Washington D.C. in 2009 and is now a financial analyst with an asset management company.

An award of $500 will be given to one of the seniors, each year, from Washington Lee High School entering college, who has demonstrated leadership qualities through academic, co-curricular and community service and who exemplified in their activities an understanding and practice of diversity encouragement. For complete details about eligibility, please contact Mr. Eric Hill, Career Education Specialist, Washington Lee High School, 1301 N. Stafford St, Arlington, VA 22201, at

This scholarship is once again open after a lapse of a couple of years, and is accepting submissions for the 2017 year, the deadline for which is, May 6th 2017. Details can be found on the Washington Lee High School website at:  


2017 Vikrant Diversity Scholarship Award Announced!

It goes to Mr. Noah J. Kline, Senior, Washington-Lee High School, Arlington, VA. BIG Congratulations to Noah for this achievement! Noah will be attending Wesleyan University this Fall.

Noah's essay was selected from a pool of excellent essays! Below is the award winning essay.

What Diversity Means To Me?

Arlington is the most-and least-diverse place I know. Arlington boasts residents who speak almost l00 languages and represent scores of ationalities, but friend groups, workplaces, and neighborhoods are largely homogeneous. Arlington's diversity feels just theoretical, and my elementary and middle schools were virtually all white and upper-middle class. In addition to the academics, it was because of Washington-Lee's relative diversity that I transferred into the IB program.

While I know some of the systemic factors that contribute to this segregation, I wanted to learn more. That is hy I joined Operation Understanding DC. This year long dialogue program for black and Jewish youth leaders has broadened my perspective and ignited my desire to improve the world. I am constantly challenged by my OUDC friends to reflect on unconscious biases, privileges, and my responsibilities as an al1y. In 20 years, I might forget a sit-in simulation, a conversation with a Freedom Rider, or a workshop that I led on stereotypes. But as long as I live, I will always remember these friends and the empathy-building, world-view-altering, social-problem-solving community that we created together.

By listening to and empathizing with the realities of my friends, I now see the relatively homogenous group of teachers at my high school, the history curriculum that glosses over the most troubling parts of American istory, the systemic barriers to the success of students of color. Because I have built relationships that cross ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic divides, I can no longer be silent. I feel obligated and driven to use my advantages to not only raise my voice, but to challenge the social order that has quieted the voices of my friends. By turning unchallenged thoughts into productive dialogue, I work towards a world where uniqueness of identity and diversity is truly cherished instead of stifled.


2011 Vikrant Diversity Scholarship award announced!

It goes to Ms. Eleanor Jacobs, Senior, Washington-Lee High School, Arlington, VA. A BIG Congratulations to her for this achievement!

Eleanor’s essay was selected from a pool of very good and competitive essays. Below is the award winning essay. Ms. Jacobs will be attending Northwestern University, IL in Fall 2011.

Eleanor Jacobs

Eleanor Jacobs addressing the gathering at the Washington-Lee graduation at DAR Constitution Hall. As Vice President of the senior class, she introduced the commencement speaker. Eleanor is flanked on her right by Mr. Greg Robertson, Principal, Washington-Lee High School and on her left by Dr. Patrick Murphy, Superintendent, Arlington Public Schools, Arlington, VA.

What Diversity Means to Me?


Eleanor Jacobs

As one of the few Americans in a sea of rambunctious Irish teenagers at the Center for Talented Youth in Dublin, I didn’t worry about making friends or being homesick because I knew I would have a great time. But what I did not expect at CTYI was the badgering and negativity towards Americans, especially the American government. Instead of agreeing with them, I decided to become a one-girl American ambassador, like the maverick in 12 Angry Men. Even though I was the lone voice, I defended my country.  I faced the stereotypes that stemmed from diversity.

Living overseas, moving from school to school I have learned that diversity only needs to be recognized if you choose. Although my best friend from elementary school is Finish, in middle school, Nigerian and in high school, Costa Rican, I do not care. Yes, we have different cultures, heritages, languages, religions, ethnicities and colors, but to me they were just my friends; people I enjoy spending my time with. Diversity to me is just another way to categorize and describe others; it does not play an important role in relationships and daily interactions. I have learned that the many characteristics used to describe differences among people are superficial compared to values, humor, and character. Franklin Thomas once said “one day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.” I could not agree more wholeheartedly. In the next generation I hope diversity will be defined as difference of opinion, idea and belief, not appearance.

At Northwestern University, I plan on majoring in International Relations and French because I hope to join the Foreign Service. I have found my niche for being a diplomat. After living abroad, I know the importance of representing the United States positively, not only while in company of national leaders, but also with anyone from a different country. I hope that my experience as a one-woman ambassador in Ireland will become a reality. 


2010 Vikrant Diversity Scholarship award announced!

It goes to Ms.Victoria Trofimova, Senior, Washington-Lee High School, Arlington, VA. A BIG Congratulations to her for this achievement!

Ms.Trofimova's essay was selected from a pool of very good and competitive essays. Below is the award winning essay. Ms. Trofimova will be attending The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA in Fall 2010.

Victoria Trofimova


What Diversity Means to Me?


Victoria Trofimova

While people stereotype different cultures, few people have a stereotype of themselves. I never thought that other people could categorize me because of my nationality until I immigrated to the United States.

After people ask me, "Where are you from?" I sometimes hear the following: "Russians do not get cold." "Russians drink vodka." "Russians wear 'Ushanka' hats." and, "Russians are angry." I could go on with my list, but I want to stop because I believe each person is unique. Before people make assumptions about a person's character they should ask what national heritage means to that person. To me, my heritage means that I am who I am today because of Russian education, history, and language. I lived in Saint-Petersburg Russia for thirteen years. I developed as a person and received my early education there. My appreciation for the education grew when I moved to the United States and started out as a seventh grader. I carried from my Russian school a disciplined attitude toward adults and school work. I had to begin learning English as a second language. I was also placed in a lower math class. But I progressed to the mainstream quickly. If I had not received my education in Russia, I honestly do not know how I would have performed. Even though my Russian education gave me a push to start off well in the seventh grade, it did not prepare me to learn every subject in a different language. As a seventh grader, I struggled with English every day, and frustration led me to reject school and the United States. There were days when I refused to go to school because I did not want to say something that did not make sense to native speakers. I was afraid that people would laugh at me any minute. But deep down, I knew that part of being Russian is to have strong defenses and the ability to face life's obstacles. So, I tackled the English language in one year. Russia's long history with its brutal times did not destroy my life nor vanquish my dreams. I lived through times when the Soviet Union was falling apart and when Russia was being reconstructed. I am part of a new generation, the new hope for Russia and for Russia's role in the world. To fulfill my role, I am learning new languages to understand different cultures. The Russian language is as complex as Russian history. Because of the level of difficulty, other languages are more approachable for me. English is not as hard as Russian. So that gave me the will to learn it quickly. To gain an objective view of the world, I started learning Spanish and Arabic. These languages bring me closer to people of different ethnicities. By interacting with them, I do not just gain a global view, but I assimilate myself with different cultures. I was admitted to William &Mary College early decision and plan to study psychology.

My career goal is to become a counselor for families and teenagers who move to the United States from foreign lands and are trying to assimilate life here.


I read Victoria's essay and would like to extend congratulations to her for winning the Vikrant Diversity Scholarship! Her achievements are exemplary and I wish her all the best as she continues to persevere in her future endeavors.
Miriam Ahmed
College of Arts and Sciences
Howard University


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