Gaithersburg Awards Ten CHARACTER COUNTS! Scholarships

Ten inspiring high school seniors were selected to receive a total of $9,750 in scholarship funds for the 2017-2018 academic year through the W. Edward Bohrer, Jr. Memorial CHARACTER COUNTS! Scholarship program.

Presented in partnership with the W. Edward Bohrer Memorial Fund, Chipotle, City of Gaithersburg Student Union, Gaithersburg Rotary Foundation, Lakeforest Shopping Center, Montgomery Village Rotary Club Foundation, Rodgers Consulting, Inc., Winkler Automotive Service Center, and private donations, the scholarships are named for former Mayor Bohrer, under whose leadership the City adopted the CHARACTER COUNTS! program in 1996. The program acknowledges students for embodying the Six Pillars of Character – trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.

Since the scholarship program launched in 1998, 95 high school seniors have received more than $160,000 in CHARACTER COUNTS! funding to help with their college tuition.

This year’s recipients are all Gaithersburg High school students, including: Abreeya Darda, Shekinah Kriti D’Brass, Jessica Bryant, Helen Fernandez, Sandy Alyssa LaCrete, Shu Ying Lin, Mikaylah Sayles, Jose Luis Lopez Reyes, Walter Lopez Reyes and Vanessa Villalobos.

In their applications, students were asked to share stories of people who have inspired them and how those role models reflect good character.

The following excerpts were taken from this year’s awardees:

“(Our School Administrator) taught me to respect my peers, my teachers, and myself. On this very day I can feel a change in the inner me and outer me. It almost feels like applying the six pillars in your life can be contagious.” – Abreeya Darda

“My grandmother was my knowledge to unconditional warmth and infinite love. She always quoted Aristotle, ‘What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good,’ that I later learned the essence of. ” – Shekinah Kriti D’Brass

”Everything I have learned, I have learned from my Mom, my mom’s friend Mr. Roger and my teachers. When I go out I represent all those who have been examples in my life and I would never do anything that would make them look bad.” – Jessica Bryant

“My mother and grandmother taught me to respect everyone, regardless of their culture, religion, heritage or nationality. They believe in my potential and always made sure I knew that…. Because of this I learned to appreciate the diversity I find here in Gaithersburg. It is beautiful….” – Helen Fernandez

“My mother has shown me that there are no shortcuts in life, and that hard work truly pays off. Working throughout the City of Gaithersburg has shaped me as a person, and I am grateful that I am able to do so.” – Sandy Alyssa LaCrete

“I also always try to follow the Golden Rule ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you,’ which my mom often reminds me of. It is important for me to do so because treating people the way I want to be treated may inspire more people to do so. This is a small step to making our community a better and more respectful place.” – Shu Ying Lin

“When I see others being selfless and displaying true acts of kindness, it not only inspires, but fuels me to be a more giving person every day, who lives by service and the uplifting of others and those around me.” – Mikaylah Sayles

“Every day, I am given a chance to choose to keep practicing the lessons I learned from my aunt. I choose to do so every day. I think those lessons will be with me until the day arrives and I become a father.” – Jose Luis Lopez Reyes

“The best role model in my life that has helped me develop the Six Pillars of Character is my family. They have been there all the time, supporting me…. They are the model that inspires me to go on and reach my dreams no matter what.” – Walter Lopez Reyes

“My mother is the most important role model in my life…. I want to make her proud. I don’t want to let her down, just how she has respected me for almost 18 years, it is time for me to respect her.” – Vanessa Villalobos

The W. Edward Bohrer Memorial Scholarship Program is administered by the City of Gaithersburg Community Services Division in cooperation with the Educational Enrichment Committee.

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