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Posted by: Gretchen Schroeder on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 12:00:00 am

Mayor Vincent Gray Provides Keynote Address at Awards Luncheon


Washington, DC, May 12, 2011—For the past 94 years, members of the Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C. have worked to bring smiles to the faces of youth throughout the community. That tradition continues with our 14th Annual Joe Riley Awards. At the Awards luncheon at the National Press Club on Thursday, May 12, the Club awarded more than $39,000 in cash awards, college scholarships and new laptop computers to 30 DC Public High School seniors.

The Honorable Vincent C. Gray, Mayor of the District of Columbia provided inspiration and accolades to the college-bound students. Mayor Gray commended the Kiwanis Club for honoring Joe Riley with this annual award program, saying, “Joe Riley was known to many residents of the District of Columbia, including myself. It is fitting that in his honor the Kiwanis Club awards scholarships to young people.” The Mayor challenged the students to remain in the District of Columbia and remarked how rewarding it was to see Dunbar's nominee, Tyron Thomas, wearing a letterman jacket similar to the one he wore as captain of the high school's baseball team. The Mayor added that “success is not determined by where you go to school, but the effort you put in,” recalling his own K-12 education in the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Eighteen student nominees were honored as the winner from their school. Each received a new laptop computer, including software and accessories. The school winners were: Rashida Wise, Anacostia High School; Leah Edwards, Archbishop John Carroll High School; Sache Collier, Ballou Senior High School; Kadeem Swenson, Ballou STAY Senior High School; Kenrry Alvarado, Columbia Heights Educational Campus; LaTasha Mosley, Benjamin Banneker Senior High School; Daniel West, Calvin Coolidge Senior High School; Yatana Araya, Cardozo Senior High School; Asia Goode, Duke Ellington School of the Arts; Tyron Thomas, Dunbar High School; Dominique Leach, Eastern Senior High School; Montee Wills, Luke C. Moore Academy; Marcus Lee, McKinley Technology High School; Malcolm Berry, Roosevelt High School; Zachary Meyer Jersky, School Without Walls; Mioni Wingo-King, Spingarn Senior High School; Cheyenne Garrett, Spingarn STAY Senior High School; Alec Paz, Woodrow Wilson Senior High School.

Download a hi-res photo of the winners with Mayor Gray here.

After presenting the laptops and highlighting the many accomplishments of all of the finalists, scholarships were presented to the three winners, as determined by the Joe Riley Awards judging panel. Third place and the winner of a $5,000 scholarship was Marcus Lee, McKinley Technical High School. Second place and a $7,500 scholarship was presented to Sache Collier from Ballou Senior High School. The first place award and a $10,000 scholarship was awarded to Daniel West of Calvin Coolidge Senior High School.

The Kiwanis Club would like to thank the 2011 judging panel for their time and dedication to this year’s program: Committee Chairman Dick Juergens, Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C. board member; Khari Brown, Executive Director, Capital Partners for Education; Vernon Holleman, III, Immediate Past President of the Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C.; Richard Snowdon, prominent local attorney and the current Treasurer/Secretary of the Hill-Snowdon Foundation; and Michelle Riley Levenson, Vice President with the Bank of Georgetown and the daughter of Joe Riley.

Since the inception of the Joe Riley scholarship program 14 years ago, the Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C. has given away over $250,000 in scholarships and more than 250 laptop computers. Throughout the school year, Kiwanis school partners work with District high school officials to select the most deserving students from across the entire DC public high school population for this special recognition.

The Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C., is part of Kiwanis International, which boasts more than 8,400 Kiwanis clubs with nearly 280,000 members in 96 nations and geographic areas. In one year, Kiwanis clubs sponsored 147,000 service projects. To do so, Kiwanians raised and spent nearly $100 million and contributed 6.2 million hours of volunteer time. The Kiwanis Club of Washington, D.C. meets at The University Club on the first and third Thursdays of each month and members participate in volunteer projects throughout the year. For more information or to inquire about membership please visit our website at


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