The Richmond Association Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship
Every spring, the Richmond Association grants scholarship awards to Richmond-area students. Our criteria emphasize academic excellence, well-roundedness, thought-leadership, character, and the quality of a written essay on the value of a liberal arts education to the individual and society. Selection is always difficult because of the exceptional quality and number of seniors who submit applications.
Thanks to your generosity, we proudly introduce five scholarship recipients for 2021
2021 PBK Scholarship
Maria Elena Smith, Colonial Heights High School. I will attend the University of South Carolina in the fall to study sports marketing and management. One of my coaches has always told me that “adversity equals success.” Using what my coach has taught me, I have implemented her advice into my life, regardless of the activity! One of my favorite things growing up was going to my grandparents every Sunday for dinner which was usually pasta since my mom is Italian. I loved helping my grandmother in the kitchen. My family is a very important part of my life. As long as I have their love and support, I have everything I need to be happy and successful.
2021 Gateway Scholarships
Afreen Haq, John Tyler Community College. I will attend the University of Virginia to study math. I’ve developed an interest in teaching math, so in 10 years, I might be teaching in a university setting or working in cybersecurity, but I’d love to do research as well! Outside of my curricular activities, I practice art, writing songs, and producing music.
Jacob Dunn, Reynolds Community College. I will attend VCU in the fall to study English with the goal of attending law school. In 10 years, I see myself practicing either family or criminal law. I try my best to be active in my community, and one of the ways that I do that is by coaching a swim team. It’s rewarding to see swimmers grow as the summer progresses. Coaching the swim team allows me to maintain a connection to the sport that I love and the camaraderie of a team.
Violeta Rodriguez, Reynolds Community College. I will attend VCU in the fall to study Spanish and Psychology. I aim to get my certification in Spanish to English translation and interpretation so I can help my Hispanic community out in the medical field. I also hope to continue as a Psychology major so I can potentially become a bilingual therapist. In the future, I want to be able to help fund some scholarships myself to provide financial help for fellow Hispanic students.
Micah White, John Tyler Community College. I will be attending VCU this fall to study Psychology. I have a certain hardwired propensity towards problem solving, particularly interpersonal problem solving. In 10 years, I intend to earn my PhD and work in a clinical setting to attend to patients on a daily basis. I would also begin the processes of working with nonprofit organizations and collaborating with donors to prepare to open a nonprofit organization of my own. With the nonprofit, I intend to alleviate the problems that come with the social isolation that has become prevalent in the United States. A central hub for community engagement that also provides essential needs and services can uproot a number of the issues that manifest as psychological pathology in many people.
2019 Richmond Association of Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship Award Winners
HARRIS – Recipient of a $1000 Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship
Graduated from Richmond Community High School – Introduction to Engineering Design and Principles of Engineering
Captain of Armstrong’s Varsity Volleyball and Wrestling Teams
Member of United States Naval Sea Cadet Program
Volunteers with Northside YMCA’s leaders club, North Avenue Library, Highland Springs Technical Center
Ranked 6th place in the 3A state wrestling tournament 2019
Will be attending Virginia Military Institute and plans to study engineering
BURCHARD – Recipient of a $1000 Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship
Graduated from Colonial Heights High School
Former SCA Senator and current SCA Vice President
Member of Varsity Tennis and Volleyball teams
Volunteers with GymQuest Gymnastics and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church
Captain of Academic Challenge team; Battle of the Brains regional champions 2019
Will be attending College of William and Mary and plans to study Business
SMITH – Recipient of a $1000 Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship
Graduated from Colonial Heights High School
Member of Varsity swim team, Interact and Key club
Volunteers with scouting for food and tri cities workcamp
Recipient of the Eagle Scout Award 2019 and Optimist History Award
Will be attending the College of William and Mary and plans to study psychiatry
McDEVITT – Recipient of a $1000 Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship
Graduated from Douglas Freeman High School – Center for Leadership, government, and global economics
Captain of Varsity Volleyball Team, member of Model UN and Rebelettes service club
Volunteers with Child development center at Wyndham
2nd place at the state and regional competition – We the People Competition
Will be attending the University of Virginia and plans to study environmental policy and public health
LI – Recipient of a $1000 Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship
Graduated from Glen Allen High School – Center for Education and Human Development
SCA Vice President and Class Vice President
Member of Robotics Team and Varsity Track and Field
Volunteers with Children’s Hospital of Richmond and St. Mary’s Hospital
U.S. Figure Skating Double Gold Medalist and founder of Asian Culture Club
Will be attending the University of Virginia and plans to study global public health along with East Asian Studies
HUTCHISON – Recipient of a $2000 Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship
Graduated from St. Christopher’s School
Editor of his school yearbook
Member of Battle of the Brains, and founder of SEAA (Saints for Environmental Awareness and Action)
Volunteers with Science Museum of Virginia and Richmond Astronomical Society
National Horkheimer-D’Auria Award recipient from Astronomical Society
Will be attending College of William and Mary and plans to study physics
2017 Richmond Association of Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship Award Winners
SPAIN – Recipient of a $2000 Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship
Sierra R. Spain graduated from Varina High School in 2017 with a GPA of 3.99. She showed herself so talented both in the sciences and in communications in High School that upon graduation she found herself in a quandary about which university to choose: the University of Virginia or Virginia Tech. When she appeared to accept her PBK scholarship in June at the University of Richmond, she had decided to attend Virginia Tech, but was uncertain about whether she wanted to be a communications specialist or a physician. She is well qualified to pursue whichever field she chooses.
In addition to working two jobs in high school, Sierra challenged herself with the most rigorous courses in her school, and while engaging in multiple extra-curricular activities, and serving as captain of the cheerleading squad.
NOAH SLATE – Recipient of a $2000 Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship
Noah Slate graduated from Thomas Dale High School in 2017 with a weighted GPA of 4.61. Noah has aspired to be the consummate musician his entire life. He progressed from piano, to trumpet and settled on the French Horn as his primary instrument in his multi-faceted musical endeavors. From the school’s marching band, show band, wind ensemble, and pit orchestra at Thomas Dale, he has participated in the Richmond Youth Wind Ensemble and the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra during his high school career. While he has become a dedicated tutor of students with their musical arrangements and in learning how to play piano, he was also the recipient of the Thomas Dale High School Principal’s overall Scholar Award in 2014.
He plans to pursue music composition for film and television and other visual media at the Berklee College of Music, although he will spend his first year by studying music in Valencia Spain.
SAMARTH KISHOR – Recipient of a $2000 Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship
Samarth Kishor graduated from Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in 2017 with a weighted GPA of 4.32. Samarth showed himself to be among the most uniquely gifted of the students to have attended the Governor’s School. While he has accomplished much in his area of major interest: computer science, he epitomized the Phi Beta Kappa motto “love of learning is the guide of life” in every aspect of his broad curriculum at Maggie Walker. Not only did he engage in learning Spanish and Japanese, and receiving awards in both languages, he also was an accomplished saxophone player and teacher. He also has a strong commitment to community improvement. He spent many hours volunteering in the Spanish speaking community helping non-English speaking adults with GED preparation.
2016 Richmond Association of Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship Award Winners
KOVACH – Recipient of a $2000 Phi Beta Scholarship
Daniel J. Kovach graduated from The Steward School in 2016 with a weighted GPA of 5.1. Aside from his high scholastic achievement, he became an outstanding actor in school productions, was a standout swimmer on the school’s team, and was active in student government. In addition to winning the Jefferson Book Award from the University of Virginia and several science awards, Daniel showed considerable talent for languages. He won the school’s Latin award, and studied and gained fluency in Italian and Spanish. In addition to an innate desire to learn languages in order to communicate internationally, he intends to use his intense interest in science in his goal to become a physician.
KRIVANEC – Recipient of a $1500 Phi Beta Scholarship
Thomas J. (“TJ”) Krivanec graduated from Open High School in 2016 with a GPA between 3.5-4.0. His distinctive interest in the arts was evident in his study of all art forms. He became especially adept in the both pictoral art and music while excelling in all other high school subjects. While engaging in a challenging academic schedule, he also held several jobs during high school.
He was accepted early in the Art Foundation program at Virginia Commonwealth University, and will use his scholarship toward his studies there.
AMY ARIEL- Recipient of a $2000 Phi Beta Scholarship
After only three years of high school, Amy Ariel was an August, 2016 graduate of Godwin High School. While in high school, she became heavily involved theater technology and lighting design involved with television and cinema. Not content with the technical aspects of drama, she also acted and was given the Outstanding Thespian award for her acting in productions at Godwin.
Amy was not content with production and acting, so she immersed herself in Mathematics and Science in which she received awards. Finally, while engaged in her scholastic and work in the theater, she also was selected to attend the High Tech Academy pre-engineering program. She plans to pursue engineering as well as theater technology and lighting design at Virginia Commonwealth University.
After her first semester, she wrote the executive committee thanking the Phi Beta Kappa Association again, adding that the scholarship enabled her to concentrate on learning the craft of theatrical lighting design, adding that she wished to “…continue representing Phi Beta Kappa as I expand to more challenges on the coming semesters.”
Congratulations to these outstanding students!
The Richmond Association of Phi Beta Kappa Scholarships are funded with private donations from our membership. Thank you to all who have donated generously. For information about giving to the fund, contact us.
A special thank you to the members of the 2016 RA Scholarship Committee. For information about serving on the committee, contact us.