The Jefferson Scholars Foundation selected a record 38 high school seniors to receive Jefferson Scholarships to attend the University of Virginia. Awarded solely on the basis of merit, Jefferson Scholarships provide full financial support for four years of study at the University, as well as a number of enrichment programs, including a two-week summer leadership development conference, team-building workshops, a travel studies program and career networking opportunities.
Candidates undergo a rigorous, multi-stage selection process. First, they must be nominated by their high schools. UVA alumni and friends of the foundation then evaluate and interview the nominees, ultimately selecting which ones will be invited to attend the Jefferson Scholars Selection Weekend, a four-day event in Charlottesville that includes seminar discussions, an essay and mathematics examination, and a final round of interviews.
This year, the foundation received more than 2,000 nominations from high schools across the globe; of those, 118 finalists were invited to attend the Jefferson Scholars Selection Weekend.
Recipients of Jefferson Scholarships are selected based on their record of excellence in leadership, scholarship and citizenship. They have held leadership positions in student government, athletics, music, journalism, theater and competitive debate, among other activities. In addition, they have been actively involved in community-based initiatives, founded new organizations and been exemplary students in the classroom.
The 38 Jefferson Scholars selected this year represent the largest cohort in the program’s 39-year history, and come from 20 states, the District of Columbia and three foreign countries. They join a community of 105 rising second-, third- and fourth-year scholars, who are active and visible leaders at the University.
Here are the members of the Jefferson Scholars Class of 2023:
- Vani Agarwal, Stonewall Jackson High School, Manassas
- Michael Bowler, McDonogh School, Owings Mills, Maryland
- Rosalie Daval, Jackson Hole High School, Jackson, Wyoming
- Chelsea Edwards, Cosby High School, Midlothian
- Jaden Evans, Telluride High School, Telluride, Colorado
- Grace Gray, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire
- Udhava Gupta, Neerja Modi School, Rajasthan, India
- Katherine Hennessy, The Westminster Schools, Atlanta, Georgia
- Yaz Horner, Forsyth Country Day School, Lewisville, North Carolina
- Sophie Howard, Wellington College, Berkshire, United Kingdom
- Cutter Huston, Albemarle High School, Charlottesville
- August Kahle, Manchester Essex High School, Manchester by the Sea, Massachusetts
- Olivia Keenan, Wauwatosa West High School, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
- Joe Kerrigan, Providence Day School, Charlotte, North Carolina
- Elizabeth Kilgore, Academy of Saint Elizabeth, Convent Station, New Jersey
- William Lloyd, Charlotte Latin School, Charlotte, North Carolina
- Jane Lyons, Ursuline Academy, Wilmington, Delaware
- Sophie Nevle Levoy, Castilleja School, Palo Alto, California
- Dan Podratsky, Gonzaga College High School, Washington, D.C.
- Medha Prakash, Westview High School, Portland, Oregon
- Shafkat Pritom, Scholastica, Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Ryan Psik, Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park, Florida
- AK Ramakrishna, Clarence High School, Clarence, New York
- Hayden Ratliff, Bush School, Seattle, Washington
- Nabeel Raza, Hidden Valley High School, Roanoke
- Autumn Routt, Lusher Charter School, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Neeka Samimi, Washington-Lee High School, Arlington
- Kamya Sanjay, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, Richmond
- Cooper Scher, Syosset High School, Syosset, New York
- Noah Schmeisser, Hopkins School, New Haven, Connecticut
- Jack Schwarz, Long Beach Polytechnic High School, Long Beach, California
- Margot Seidel, Highlands High School, Fort Thomas, Kentucky
- Emma St. John, Bishop Kenny High School, Jacksonville, Florida
- Dani Szabo, Charlottesville High School, Charlottesville
- Katie Taulbee, Academy of the Holy Names, Tampa, Florida
- Jule Voss, St. Cecilia Academy, Nashville, Tennessee
- Tahi Wiggins, Northumberland County High School, Heathsville
- Zach Yahn, Joseph Wheeler High School, Marietta, Georgia