The Abramson Scholarship Foundation’s mission is to ensure that motivated District of Columbia public high school graduates have the opportunity to attend college and the tools to succeed once they get there.
Our program employs a two-fold approach to accomplish our mission. First, we provide critical financial assistance to students who might not be able to attend college without our help. Second, and equally important, we provide these students with personal and professional guidance through individual mentors and programs in order to foster their academic success, emotional growth and professional development. This approach enables the Foundation to support our Scholars through all four years of college and beyond.
The above photo captures the essence of the Abramson Scholarship Foundation. Darryl (right) is one of our Scholars. In order to qualify for an Abramson Scholarship, Darryl – a graduate of Cesar Chavez Public Charter School – submitted an application that demonstrated his financial need, academic achievement and his commitment to giving back to our community. He is currently a student at Georgetown University.
Addy Schmitt (center) serves as President of the Board of Directors and, in the past, has served as Chair of the Scholarship Committee. Members of the Scholarship Committee carefully review all applications and interview applicants in order to identify the Abramson Scholars who, like Darryl, receive the Foundation’s financial and mentoring support.
Aaron Jenkins (left) is Chair of the Mentoring Committee and in that capacity he oversees a diverse and talented group of professionals – some in the early stages of their professional careers and others with more experience and better established in their careers and professions – all of whom volunteer to serve as mentors to our Scholars. Our mentors listen, advise, guide, champion, befriend, and encourage our Scholars at each stage of their college experience and beyond, eventually helping our Scholars make the transition from being college graduates to career professionals.
Our mentors also ensure that the Scholars always have “someone in their corner,” forming strong relationships that are immensely rewarding to both mentors and mentees. Aaron knows first-hand what a difference he and his fellow mentors make in the lives of the Scholars. Aaron was an Abramson Scholar in 1999, graduated from Williams College, and currently works at Operation Understanding DC. He still maintains a relationship with his own Abramson mentor.
Darryl and Scholars like him, Addy and the Foundation’s Board Members, Aaron and our talented and caring group of mentors, as well as the Foundation’s financial supporters – without whom all of this would not be possible – form the Abramson Scholarship Foundation family. If you are not already a part of this family, we urge you to join us in making a difference, and we promise it will change not just the lives of our Scholars, but yours, too. If you are an individual, organization or corporation eager to make a difference, please join us in creating a future for our amazing young Scholars, and, by doing so, strengthening our community in countless and important ways.
Named ScholarshipsOur relationship with CareFirst is an expansion of our "Named Scholar" program. This program gives organizations, such as CareFirst, or interested individuals the opportunity to sponsor a promising student and help that student make the transition from high school to college and on to a career. An organization's commitment to fund a Named Scholarship: 1. provides 4 years of financial assistance for college to that Scholar; 2. provides the Scholar with peer and professional mentoring; and 3. assists the Scholar in developing a number of useful life skills. We believe that our efforts have been successful because the Abramson Foundation’s Scholars have an impressive track record. According to "Double the Numbers for College Success: A Call to Action for the District of Columbia," a 2006 report by D.C. City and school officials, only 9% of college freshmen from D.C. public schools complete college within 5 years of graduating from high school. In contrast, over 90% of Abramson Scholars do. In many cases, our scholars have had to overcome myriad challenges to get into and through college. Our Scholars' tenacity is heroic and we are proud to assist them. Local firms and organizations can make a significant contribution to this worthy endeavor and make an investment in the future through their participation in our Named Scholarship Program.