High School Awards Program

High School Awards Home

Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honors organization, founded in 1776, fosters and recognizes excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. The D.C. Area Phi Beta Kappa Association (D.C. PBK), founded in 1913, supports Phi Beta Kappa Society's mission and for decades has recognized with awards the academic achievements of local high school seniors. Each year, D.C. PBK grants three local high school students an award of $1000 to use towards college tuition. Additionally, the honorees are recognized at a reception and presented with our Phi Beta Kappa Certificate of Recognition and a book.

To apply for our 2017 award, please fill out the application in PDF or Word format, attach electronic or scanned copies of recent transcript and either SAT or ACT scores, and submit all materials electronically to Chelsea Rubin, High School Award Committee Chair at Awards@dcpbk.org.  Applications must be sent by 11:59 PM on April 24, 2017. The student receiving our award must show that s/he is a good citizen, interested in the community, and that his/her knowledge is beneficial to society. Please note: applicants must have a minimum 3.5 unweighted GPA to be considered. Upon selection, D.C. PBK will ask each recipient for a letter of acceptance from his/her chosen college or university.

The Association’s High School Awards Program began in 1974 as a Book Award for students in D.C. and was later expanded to include the greater D.C. area and a monetary award. One of the original committee members, Mary Corinne Rosebrook, who served on the committee until 1989, was still tutoring young D.C. pupils upon her 100th birthday in 1993. A member of the Association for nearly half a century, Ms. Rosebrook died two months shy of her 108th birthday. Following Ms. Rosebrook, another important supporter of our program was Ruth Knee, who dedicated significant time and energy to make sure it was successful until her death in 2008. 

Profiles of our past award winners can be found here.

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Please feel free to contact Chelsea Rubin with any questions you may have at Awards@dcpbk.org

 

Application Instructions

To apply for our 2017 award, please fill out the application in PDF or Word format, attach electronic or scanned copies of recent transcript and either SAT or ACT scores, and submit all materials electronically to Chelsea Rubin, High School Award Committee Chair at Awards@dcpbk.orgApplications must be sent by 11:59 PM on April 24, 2017. The student receiving our award must show that s/he is a good citizen, interested in the community, and that his/her knowledge is beneficial to society. Please note: applicants must have a minimum 3.5 unweighted GPA to be considered. Upon selection, D.C. PBK will ask each recipient for a letter of acceptance from his/her chosen college or university.

 

 

 

 

High School Award Recipients

We thank you, our members, for your continued financial support of the High School Awards Program. Your generous contributions have helped alleviate some of the financial burden for these distinguished high school graduates and have helped recognize the hard work and commitment to learning that these students have demonstrated. 


2016 Award Winners

Joyce Zhou, from Boyds, Maryland, is a multi-talented senior at Northwest High School in Germantown, whose wide-ranging interests include an afterschool enrichment program in the sciences for elementary school students. Joyce is a member of the Rho Kappa Honor Society (Social Studies Honor Society), Spanish Honor Society, Forensics Honor Society, and the National Honor Society, serving as Vice President of Service, overseeing community service projects for the group. She will attend the University of Maryland’s Honors College in the fall, and plans to pursue a career in international relations.

Brian Contreras of Washington, DC attends the School Without Walls, a humanities-centered public magnet high school. Brian is an Eagle Scout, whose many enthusiasms include WorldQuest, a national trivia competition on foreign and domestic policy; student representative to the DC State Board of Education; and being a lab assistant at the Carnegie Institute of Sciences. Brian will attend Stanford University in the fall to study political science, public policy, and journalism.

Nadja Zakula-Kostadinova attends TC Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. She tutors other students in the school Writing Center, is active in the Lawyer’s Club, and pursued an internship at the county courthouse. Nadja also works with the Best Buddies program, volunteers at INOVA Fairfax Hospital, and has received numerous science awards, particularly in botany. She now interns for the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, and helps to edit the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s newsletter. Nadja will attend New York University in the fall, with plans to become a doctor focusing on global public health. 


2015 Award Winners

Rachel Gold from Rockvillle, MD currently attends Richard Montgomery High School, where she has excelled academically. While at Richard Montgomery, she served as editor-inchief of The Tide student newspaper. She also ran cross-country and track all four years including on the varsity team in junior and senior years. With 280 hours of community service given by January 2015, Rachel has many competing interests. Attending Brown University in the fall, she plans to study History, and potentially pursue a career in journalism, or working as a speechwriter, or in government service, possibly with a stint in the Peace Corps beforehand. Her teachers describe her as reflective, intellectually curious, and dedicated to meaningful, thoughtful work.

Uche Medoh from Upper Marlboro, MD is attending The Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College. He will go to Yale University in the fall, with a major in Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology. Uche plans to become a doctor and biomedical researcher, where he hopes to apply his passion for the sciences in a charitable way. He has volunteered at the National Air and Space Museum, and has completed summer internships at the National Institutes of Health and at the University of Maryland. Also an athlete, Uche played three years of football and two years of basketball during high school. His teachers note his strong work ethic, displaying maturity and seriousness about his work.

Thomas Walter Booker from Washington, DC is a student at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. An academic high achiever, he has also pursued his passion for acting during his high school career. Since 2012, he has performed in more than ten plays, at such venues as the Kennedy Center, the Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, and the Duke Ellington School. He has trained during summers at the Rutgers Summer Acting Conservatory and the British American Drama Academy Conservatory. When he goes to SUNY Purchase in the fall, he will work to pursue a career in theater education. His teachers describe him as someone who always maintains high standards for himself, and has consistently demonstrated an ability to rise to any challenge, academic or artistic.


2014 Award Winners

Riley Cruickshank from Burtonsville, MD currently attends James Hubert Blake High School, following the school's Arts / Communication and STEM pathways. She has excelled academically, while holding a number of notable leadership positions, including president of Blake's French Honor Society and the Anime Club. Riley's true passion, though, lies in theater. She has been actively involved in Blake's theater productions – both with performance and technical support roles – and was recently honored with a Montgomery County All-County Theater Award (among other theater awards). In the future, Riley plans to pursue a career in theater as a professional actress. She will be attending the College of William & Mary in the fall to study Theater and English.

Jared Lichtman from North Bethesda, MD currently attends Montgomery Blair High School. He excels in all his academics, with the greatest interest in math and physics. This past summer, he received a scholarship to participate in the SciTech Youth International Summer Research Program in Israel; his team won first place for their math project in game theory. Additionally, Jared is a language scholar, having earned a perfect score on the National Latin Exam and been a part of the French and Latin National Honor Societies. Outside of school, Jared has completed over 500 community service hours and received a Congressional Award Gold Medal for his dedication. In the future, Jared plans to pursue a career in academics. He will be attending Dartmouth College to study math, physics, or linguistics.

Amy Wu from North Potomac, MD currently attends Richard Montgomery High School in their International Baccalaureate Program. A self-described "generalist," Amy is interested in a wide range of subjects and has excelled in all of them. Outside of class, her community involvement is vast: editor of a literary arts magazine, president/founder of two separate social venture clubs, and president of her school's National Honor Society. Amy has interned at the Montgomery County Executive's Office for two summers, where she conducted economic development research. In the future, Amy plans to work in a development-related field to find creative ways to improve how societies function. She will be attending Claremont McKenna College to study Economics and Math.


2013 Award Winners

Syrena M. Bracey from Clinton, MD in Prince George’s County, is graduating with honors from St. Stephens and St. Agnes School, and plans to pursue a career in biochemistry and medical research. A well-rounded student with achievements in Spanish, Chemistry and Music, Syrena was honored with the Randolph College Classics Book Award for her distinction in Latin. Syrena has also distinguished herself in the scientific research community through publications based on summer research at the National Institutes of Health. She has served as President of her local Jack and Jill organization, and as a member of two varsity teams: softball and volleyball. This fall she will attend the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Abrar Omeish from Fairfax, VA, is graduating with honors from James W. Robinson Secondary School with plans to pursue a career in public service. Abrar has distinguished herself in academia as a member of the National Honor Societies for English, Spanish, Math and Science. She is the recipient of the President’s Gold Volunteer Service Award for her work in co-founding GIVE, a non-profit focused on youth growth through volunteering and education, the Girl Scout Gold Award, and the Harry F. Byrd Jr. Leadership Award. Abrar has been active in her community, having been elected representative to Youth Leadership Greater Washington and in representing her school in the Fairfax County’s Youth Leadership Program. Abrar will be attending Yale University in the fall.

Christopher Porter, a resident of Alexandria Virginia and a student at T.C. Williams High School, Christopher has a diverse set of academic and extracurricular interests, which include calculus, writing, Spanish, and architecture. He also competes nationally with his high school’s crew team, and enjoys playing cello and guitar with a variety of bands and orchestras. A vivid and accomplished writer, Christopher hopes to pursue a career in which “creativity, problem solving, and cross-disciplinary thinking play a major role in impacting the daily lives of others.” He will enter the University of Virginia this fall where he plans to expand upon his passions in writing, music, and the natural sciences as a student in the Echols Scholar program.


2012 Award Winners

Gabrielle Tate

In honor of the life of Ruth Knee, a former member of DCPBK and strong supporter of the Awards program, the Association awarded $1,500 to Gabrielle Tate, who will graduate from Oakton High School in Vienna, VA and will be going to Vanderbilt University where she plans to major in electrical engineering. A founding member of her high school’s Writing Center where she tutored students, Gabrielle was the president of her debate team and is passionate about physics and art history.

Maria Lee

The Association awarded $1,000 to Maria Lee, who will be matriculating at the University of Pennsylvania this fall, where she plans to major in biology. Maria will graduate from Centreville High School in Clifton, VA and wants to be become a doctor in service to her community. An avid reader with a passion for learning, Maria enjoys literary analysis and photography.

Victor Ying

Victor Ying received $1,000, which will be applied to his tuition at Princeton University this fall where he plans to study physics. Victor will graduate from Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, MD, and has been the Washington DC Regional President for the 2011-2012 school year of the nonprofit organization Kids Are Scientists Too. He enjoys a range of subjects from world history to politics and literature.

 

To contribute to the High School Award by making a donation online, please use the Donate button below or send your check, payable to the DC Area Phi Beta Kappa Association, with "High School Award" in the memo field, to:

Treasurer
DC Area Phi Beta Kappa Association
8601 Burdette Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20817

We thank you, our members, for your continued financial support of the high school awards program. Your generous contributions have helped alleviate some of the financial burden for our award recipients and have helped recognize the hard work and commitment to learning that these students have demonstrated.