Local students receive scholarships from Mount Vernon-Springfield business community


Mount Vernon Springfield Education Partnership board members stand alongside scholarship recipients.

May 24 - Article was updated to include a student not present at the May 23 reception.

A dozen graduating seniors from local high schools received recognition and scholarships May 23 at an outdoor reception held by the Mount Vernon Springfield Chamber of Commerce at The Fairfax, a retirement community in Fort Belvoir.

Kicking off the event, Gunston Hall Executive Director Scott Stroh, a member of the Mount Vernon Springfield Education Partnership board of directors, said the merger of the former Mount Vernon Lee and Greater Springfield chambers last year enabled the 501(c)3 Education Partnership to extend its reach to 10 area high schools this year. Since 1998, the chamber has provided more than $273,000 in scholarships to local high school students who are planning to pursue business-related degrees.

This year, the chamber received around 25 applications for the $2,000 scholarships and awarded them to 13 recipients, according to Alex Thalacker of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, who serves as chairman of the chamber’s board of directors. More than half of the 13 scholarship recipients were from schools around the Richmond Highway corridor — two students from Mount Vernon High School, two from West Potomac High School, two from Hayfield Secondary School and one from South County High School.

Following a keynote address from Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Jorgensen, a retired leader in veterinary medicine who serves as president of the Army Retirement Residence Foundation - Potomac, members of the Education Partnership board invited the students to briefly introduce themselves and accept their awards.

One of the scholarship recipients from Mount Vernon High School was Adam Peverall, who received the Ourisman Distinguished Scholar award from Chris Bell, general manager of the Ourisman Kia dealership. Peverall told attendees he plans to pursue a degree in finance or marketing before going into sales or real estate. It was while working a part-time job that he discovered his “passion for sales,” he said.

Peverall credited his high school swim coach Mark Murray and a career center specialist with encouraging him to apply for the scholarship. While growing up in the Mount Vernon area, Peverall found that two things particularly impressed him — the sense of community at Mount Vernon High School, where “every sports team has been a special group of people,” and the way that many local business leaders give back to the schools and community. As an example, he cited Murray, a Mount Vernon High School graduate and past Mount Vernon Springfield Chamber chairman who owns Mount Vernon Pool Service and is a licensed realtor.

Other recipients of scholarships from the Mount Vernon Springfield Chamber include:

  • Bianca Blancaflor, Lake Braddock High School
  • Jackson Brown, Thomas Edison High School
  • Lauren Cremer, Bishop Ireton High School
  • John Hood, Mount Vernon High School
  • Julia Hopper, West Potomac High School
  • Jada-Ane Larkin, Hayfield Secondary School
  • Steven Liu, Annandale High School
  • William Michael Meares, West Potomac High School
  • Laura Ridgeway, Thomas Jefferson High School
  • Max Riggs, Hayfield Secondary School
  • John Shaffer, South County High School
  • Nicole Trejo, John A. Lewis High School
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