ALEXANDRIA, VA-On a recent Zoom call T.C. Williams High School Senior Sara Abbas thought she was participating in a scholarship eligibility interview. Instead, she was surprised with the presentation of a $40,000 scholarship. The amount will support her four-year education at Virginia Tech, where she will study Computer Science.
Abbas won the Titans in Tech scholarship, created by Titan alumnus Brett Sirois, who is the founder and chief recruiter of Stem IT. The amount is the largest ever awarded by the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria (SFA) to one student.
“This scholarship is a relief. My family struggled financially due to the COVID pandemic,” said Abbas. “The scholarship will relieve a major burden for my family and me. It will enable me to focus on my education and the goal I have set of graduating Summa Cum Laude.”
“This scholarship was created to help a student like Sara jumpstart their career in technology and I’m happy to play a small part in her future success,: Sirois said. “Sara has worked so hard to get so far already, I have no doubt that the sky is the limit for her.”
T.C. Principal Peter Balas, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings Jr. and SFA Executive Director Beth Lovain all took part in the Zoom call.
Hutchngs told Abbas, “I am a Titan alum and I received a scholarship from SFA back in 1995. Sara, this scholarship helped pave the way for my success and I know it will do that for you.”
In her scholarship application, Abbas wrote that she believes in the strong connection between technology, power, and the need to make computer science accessible to all. An aspiring software engineer or app developer, she wants to help remove barriers between marginalized communities and technology. Abbas also wants to be an inspiration to young girls who have an interest in the field.
SFA will announce the awarding of $525K in scholarships to 180 students from the class of 2021 later this week.
On April 24, the nonprofit will hold its 35th Annual Spring Gala virtually.Tickets and sponsorships are still available. The event will include a prize drawing on April 23, online silent auction, entertainment, inspiration, and Jack Taylor’s Alexandria Toyota Raffle drawing. One winner will take home a grand prize of $25K or a new 2021 Toyota RAV-4, compliments of Jack Taylor.
All info about the gala – including sponorships and auction registration – can be found at sfagala.givesmart.com.