Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, U.S. Senator Mark Warner and Family Surprise TC Williams Senior with $40,000 4-Year Scholarship Funded by the Collis Warner Family Foundation
ALEXANDRIA, VA APRIL 30, 2020 – The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria (SFA) today surprised 2020 T.C. Williams graduate Foziya Mohammed with its top scholarship worth $40,000 during a Zoom call. U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-V.A.) and former Virginia First Lady Lisa Collis and daughters Madison, Gillian, and Eliza joined the call. Their family foundation, The Collis Warner Foundation, will provide the funding for the scholarship.
T.C. Williams High School Principal Peter Balas and SFA Executive Director Beth Lovain also joined in the surprise announcement. Foziya Mohammed, who was planning to begin her college education at Northern Virginia Community College in the fall, will now be able to attain a college degree through a 4-year in-state institution thanks to this scholarship.
“I am just shocked right now and so excited. I was worried about how I would afford a 4-year degree, and this scholarship will make that a certainty,” said Mohammed. “I can now afford college and then go on to work or attend graduate school. I would tell other students that hard work pays off and to try new things and find what you love! Thank you so much.”
“Our family established this scholarship based on a deep appreciation for the lifelong value of a college education, and the belief that this should be available to committed, hardworking students no matter their financial circumstances,” said Senator Warner. “We could not be happier than to have our first scholarship award go to Foziya Mohammed, a young woman of obvious talent and grit. Congratulations Foziya!”
“This was truly one of the happiest scholarship announcements we have made to date, in part because during this time of great uncertainty for many, it’s really wonderful to help a student find a way to afford college. This scholarship was specifically meant to help make a 4-year degree possible for a T.C. student with financial need,” said Beth Lovain. “Foziya is just a wonderful, bright and hard-working student. Her teachers have lauded her as thoughtful, mature and a delight to teach, and also noted that she was a role model for her peers.” Lovain added.
Mohammed came to the United States at the age of 12 from Ethiopia. While a student at Francis Hammond Middle School, she found the transition of learning English and adjusting to American culture to be difficult. Mohammed also felt insecure about her Muslim religion and customs; but said she didn’t let it stop her from doing what she wanted to do. She has achieved great success at T.C. Williams High School, earning a 3.68 GPA with a full complement of AP and DE classes. During this time, she also ran track, worked part time, participated in internships, volunteered at INOVA Hospital, and joined the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). She is the first generation in her family to attend college in the United States.
“Foziya, congratulations. Your doors to your future are open now thanks to your hard work at T.C. Williams and thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the Collis Warner family,” said T.C. Williams Principal Peter Balas.
The Collis Warner Family Scholarship was established this year by the Collis Warner Family Foundation with the intention of helping a T.C. Williams student with financial need afford a 4-year education at a Virginia state school. This is the first awarding of the Collis Warner Family Scholarship.
The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria has been working to raise Emergency Funds during COVID-19 to make up for the cancellation of its Spring Fundraising Gala and also in response to increased need among low-income families due to COVID economics. SFA is continuing to raise money to fully fund scholarships for the Class of 2020, and next week will announce the awarding of scholarships for the Class of 2020. SFA is also continuing to raise funds to support the renewal of scholarships for previous scholarship winners with financial need — former TC graduates and SFA scholarship recipients who will be completing their sophomore, junior or senior year of college.
In lieu of its Spring Fundraising Gala this year, the SFA will hold an online silent auction to benefit scholarships May 11-30. The online auction will conclude on May 30that 8pm with its Grand Prize Jack Taylor’s Alexandria Toyota Raffle where one lucky winner will take home $25K or a new 2020 Toyota RAV-4 compliments of Jack Taylor. Registration and info for the Online Auction can be found here: https://events.handbid.com/auctions/scholarship-fund-of-alexandria-gala-2020
The SFA, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded in 1986 to help T.C. Williams students with financial need afford college. For the past 34 years, SFA has raised funds to support college access and scholarships for kids with financial need. Over the past three and a half decades, the Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $16 million in scholarships and helped send more than 4,750 local kids to college.