Graduation day for SLI seniors in Harrisonburg
The 2017-18 academic year at Harrisonburg High School and John Handley High School (Winchester) proved to be one of academic highs. Graduating seniors of the Class of 2018 demonstrated that they have the stuff to be admitted to outstanding colleges and universities, and individuals and businesses in our local communities demonstrated they are committed to see that these students actually get to walk onto those campuses in the fall.
SLI Scholars of the Class of 2018 will enroll in courses at Harvard University, University of Virginia, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), James Madison University, Bridgewater College, and Lord Fairfax Community College. Other schools where the students were admitted but chose not to attend include Yale University, Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, Mary Baldwin College, Eastern Mennonite University, Shenandoah University, Radford University, and Eastern Tennessee University.
The students’ active membership in SLI for the past three years paid off. The students earned merit scholarships from universities in recognition of their outstanding academic achievements, demonstrated leadership, and service to the community service. Several students also earned small scholarship awards from local organizations for their leadership and service. While some of the students were eligible for federal financial assistance made available to low income families, others were not eligible for any sort of state or federal aid because their family’s residency status. In all cases, the SLI College Award has made an important difference in helping to fill a financial gap so that the students could attend the college of their choice and accept the opportunities being offered.
On the low side, some students in the Class of 2019 and 2020 will face difficult choices during the upcoming years, especially those American-born students who have families that immigrated decades ago from Central America under the security of Temporary Protected Status. These students may have to choose between pursuing their college dream in the United States or returning with their families to El Salvador and Honduras. All of us at SLI recognize that there is no substitute for family, but we will continue to provide the emotional and academic support needed so that our students can have make that choice without feeling they are an economic burden to their families. Your support for our SLI College Award helps make that difference.
Class of 2018 with SLI faculty on award day
Helen will be attending University of VA