We are pleased to announce that Bridget Rizzo ‘16 has been awarded the prestigious Harry F. Byrd Leadership Award and accompanying $10,000 academic scholarship. Each year every public and private high school in the Commonwealth of Virginia can nominate one senior for the Bryd Leadership Award. Out of hundreds of nominees who apply for the award, thirty-three students are selected as finalists. These finalists travel to Richmond for a panel interview in front of judges, business leaders, attorneys, and Deans of Admission from UVA, the University of Richmond, the College of William & Mary, Virginia Tech, and Washington & Lee University. Out of the thirty-three finalists, one student from each of the eleven congressional districts in Virginia is selected for the award based on his or her “excellence of character, qualities of leadership, devotion to duty and academic accomplishment.” Bridget is the first student from Middleburg Academy to receive this award. In addition, she has also been named an Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia.
The Harry F. Byrd Jr. Leadership Awards
Fifteen years ago, Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr. established a scholarship fund to recognize and reward a high school senior from each of the 11 congressional districts for their academic achievement, demonstrated leadership abilities, and service to their communities.
Every fall, the principals of each high school in the commonwealth are notified of the Harry F. Byrd Jr. Leadership Awards and they are encouraged to nominate a worthy candidate.
The students who are nominated prepare an application including their academic record, descriptions of their community service, examples of their exercise of leadership, letters of recommendation, and answers to various essay questions.
The applications are reviewed by a committee of deans from colleges and universities in Virginia, and the nominations are narrowed to three students from each congressional district. Uniformly, these students excel academically. Additionally, they demonstrate leadership skills in athletics, student government, service organizations, clubs, publications, and academic honor societies.