Kentlake senior Baeza Lakew wins prestigious Jefferson Scholarship

Award worth more than $293,000 over four years

Kentlake High School senior Baeza Lakew has received a prestigious Jefferson Scholarship to attend the University of Virginia.

It is one of the most highly selective merit scholarships in the nation and is worth more than $293,000 over four years. The Jefferson Scholars Foundation at the University of Virginia selected Baeza as one of 38 recipients of the award. She will commence her studies in the fall at the Charlottesville school.

In order to be named a scholar, candidates must undergo a rigorous, highly competitive, multi-stage selection process. First, they are nominated by their high schools based on their demonstrated excellence and exceptional potential in the areas of leadership, scholarship and citizenship.

Once nominated, the students go through at least one round of regional interviews. If selected as a regional finalist, students are then invited to participate in a final round of interviews. This year, over 2,100 students were nominated for the scholarship, and 125 finalists were invited to take part in remote interviews conducted by University of Virginia alumni and faculty.

The selected recipients of the 2021 Jefferson Scholarship boast a number of significant achievements and Baeza is no exception. In addition to receiving the full cost of attending the university for four years, Jefferson Scholars benefit from a number of enrichment programs sponsored by the Foundation, including travel abroad, career networking activities, an outdoor challenge program and a leadership speaker series.

Total value of the Jefferson Scholarship exceeds $293,000 for non-Virginian students, according to the scholarship website.

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