Our scholarship and stipend winners are exceptional! 

(Thanks to hard work & the Arlington School System.)

2022 Winners

The Arlington Rotary Club (ARC) awarded college scholarships totaling $18,000 to two Arlington high school students at its annual education fund banquet on April 28, and also honored Heyshell Serrano Valle as the club's Key School  "Educator of the Year” for 2021-2022.

L to R: Migel Vergara (Arlington Community HS); Tony Weaver (ARC president); Heyshell Serrano Valle (Escuela Key 3rd grade teacher); and Dayana Cespedes-Mendoza (Yorktown HS).

American Challenge Stipend in Memory of Audra Rafter

Migel Vergara of Arlington Community High School is the recipient of the club’s $8,000 Audra Rafter Stipend. He plans to attend Marymount University to study English and computer science.

The AREF Academic Scholarship

Dayana Cespedes Mendoza of Yorktown High School is the recipient of a $10,000 scholarship over four years. She plans to attend George Mason University in the fall to study civil engineering.  She told Arlington Rotary "I am a senior at Yorktown High School and plan to attend a four year college, perusing a degree in engineering. I have always enjoyed being involved in my community, that being participating in the Arlington Teen Network board, AFAC, and playing soccer. I plan to continue volunteering and exercising in college. I’m beyond grateful for obtaining the Arlington Rotary Educational Scholarship, with the scholarship I will be able to attend a four year college at a lower cost."

Educator of the Year

Ms. Serrano teaches third grade math, science and Spanish language arts in Key School-Escuela Key's bilingual elementary school program. Originally from Honduras, Ms. Seranno joined the Key School faculty in 2016 after teaching previously in New York City. She was praised especially for her devotion to students and mentoring of other faculty.

The AREF American Challenge Stipend in Memory of Audra Rafter

The Arlington Rotary Challenge Stipend was created in 2013, to help Arlington Community High School (ACHS) graduates who have made a dramatic turn-around in their educational pursuits and who need financial support to attend college. The first such grant was made possible by a generous donor; subsequent grants have been funded by AREF and other interested donors. (ACHS was formerly named Arlington Mill High School.)

2021 Winner Sarai Joya Argueta, a graduate of Arlington Community High School, is the recipient of the $8,000 Audra Rafter Scholarship. She begins studies at Northern Virginia Community College this month to study information technology and hopes for a career in the medical and pharmacy field. 

2020 Winner Daniel Meskel, a graduate from ACHS, is the recipient of the ARC "American Challenge" Stipend in Memory of Audra Rafter for $8,000 to attend Northern Virginia Community College. He intends to study computer science. He previously was awarded a gold medal for web design in the Virginia Shills USA competition. 

2019 Winner Edzon Quinteres Saique, graduated from ACHS, where he was an honor student. Edzon is originally from Bolivia and speaks Spanish and English. He is currently employed as a web developer in Arlington and states that Computer Science was his favorite subject in school. At ACHS he received student of the week award, and was been recognized for his work in web design and development. Edzon began taking online courses through University of the People while attending Arlington Community High School and working two jobs. This scholarship will allow him to quit one job and attend NOVA full time. Edson’s goal is to return to Bolivia to teach computer science classes and share his knowledge. 

The AREF Academic Scholarship

2021 Winner Emma Newman, a Washington-Liberty senior, is the recipient of a $10,000 scholarship over four years to attend Virginia Tech. She plans to major in psychology and hopes to pursue a career helping people who live with mental illness.

2020 Winner Maria Canales-Williams, a graduate of Washington-Liberty High School, is the recipient of the ARC Educational Foundation Scholarship for $10,000 to attend Virginia Tech University where she intends to study biology and pursue a career as a research scientist in gene therapy to help fight and find cures for diseases.  Her many activities include serving as president of the Cystic Fibrosis Club.

2019 Winner José Pomarino Nima graduated from Wakefield High School with a perfect 4.5 GPA. He volunteered with The Red Cross Club and Wakefield Upstanders, dedicated to getting rid of bullying an harassment. He speaks English and Spanish and is learning French, Italian and American Sign Language. He attends Columbia University where he is studying Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.