Fifteen students were honored March 6 at a reception at the Fairfax County Government Center for their efforts to build community and promote peace.
These students, listed with their high schools, are the 2011 recipients of the Northern Virginia Student Peace Award: Caroline Stephenson, Fairfax; Jennifer Shumpert, Herndon; Mariam Yaktieen, Robert E. Lee; Christina Leas, Madison; Rebecca Stripe, Marshall; Julian Tamayo, McLean; Javier Argueta, Mountain View; Lucy Holden, Paul VI; Ariane Sheridan, Quander Road; Sophia Son, Robinson; Andrew Scherzinger, South Lakes; Shantaley Noll, South County; Matthew Bloom, Thomas Jefferson; Shaden Maraqa, West Springfield and Yousif Al-Amin, Woodson.
For the past five years, area religious and secular groups have pooled their resources to fund the peace award, a countywide recognition of student ambassadors of peace.
This year's sponsors included Langley Hill, Alexandria and Herndon Quaker Meetings; Accotink Unitarian-Universalist Church; Great Falls Baha'i Community; Fairfax Partnership for Youth; First Church of Christ, Scientist, Fairfax; Northern Virginia Mennonite Church; St. John Neumann Catholic Church; Temple Rodef Shalom; Temple B'nai Shalom, Fairfax Station; Reston Rotary Club; Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University; and United Christian Parish of Reston.
Students were selected on the basis of their efforts to commit to peace by engaging in activities that strive to end conflict locally or globally; discuss or find positive resolutions to potentially controversial issues within the school or community; promote understanding of divisive issues and situations to bridge language, ethnic, racial, religious or class differences; and resolve conflicts among students or members of the community who feel isolated or alienated.
Virginia honors Herndon heroine
A state award for heroism went to Amelia D'Agostino of Herndon and two other students of Virginia Intermont College in Bristol for rescuing a woman and her family from a fire in December. D'Agostino, daughter of Jim and Jackie D'Agostino, is a 2010 graduate of Chantilly High School.
As was reported in this space Feb. 2, D'Agostino, Emily Myers of Yorktown and Cameron Carlson of Blowing Rock, N.C., alerted neighbors and pounded on the door of the burning house until they roused Jennifer Pendleton and her children -- Josh, Alexis and Madison. The students helped the family escape as flames quickly spread and destroyed their home.
The young women, all freshmen, received the City of Bristol's first "Hometown Hero," an award created in their honor. Now they have received the 2010 Virginia Governor's Fire Service Award. The award for civilian life saving was presented at the annual meeting of the Virginia Fire Chief's Association Feb. 26 in Virginia Beach.
Surprised by the recognition, the women say they felt they "just did the right thing."
The University of Mary Washington announced its president's list for the fall 2010 semester. The president's list recognizes outstanding academic achievement by full-time students who attain a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.
Recognized students were Victoria Wong, Rachel Martin and Elizabeth Green, all of Alexandria; Michael Crawford of Annandale; Mohammad Mesbahi of Centreville; Robert Hill of Falls Church; Nicholas Jacobs and Yoshinori Takeda of Herndon; Katherine Diemer of Oak Hill; Kathleen Busch of Reston; and Kelsie Snyder and Russell Ruud, both of Springfield.
A number of area students graduated from Radford University at the end of the fall 2010 semester. The new graduates include Mokenyu Yufanyi, Scott Thaston and Dennio Covarrubias, all of Annandale; Katelyn McIntosh, Kristen Downing, Dwight Meikle, Monica Murgia, Christina Eun-Hwi Ju, Kathleen Alber and Justin Logan, all of Centreville; Sara Bell of Chantilly; Matthew Baer of Fairfax and Jessica Lee of Vienna.
Army Pfc. Alan Fickling and Army Pvt. Edward Vollman have graduated from the Infantryman One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga. The training comprises Basic Infantry Training and Advanced Individual Training.
Fickling, son of Mythili Fickling of Reston, graduated in 2007 from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.
Vollman, son of James Vollman and Lee Hobrla of Reston, is a 2009 graduate of Herndon High School.
Army Reserve Specialists Kenneth Rickard and Bradley Wilson have been mobilized and activated at Joint Base Dix-McGuire-Lakehurst, N.J., in preparation for deployment to serve in support of either Operation New Dawn in the Iraqi Theater of Operations or Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and the Southwest Theater of Operations.
Rickard, a watercraft engineer, has served in the military for four years. He graduated in 2007 from Westfield High School.
Wilson, son of Susan Landseadel of Fairfax, is a water treatment specialist and has served in the military for four years. He is a member of the 377th Quartermaster Company, based out of Macon, Ga.
Army Pvt. Joseph Roesch has graduated from the Fire Support Specialist Advanced Individual Training course at Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla. and from basic combat training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C. A 2009 graduate of Centreville High School, Roesch is the son of Richard Roesch of Centreville and Cynthia Bullard of Delaplane.
Army National Guard Pvt. Travis Rey has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C. Rey is the son of Justine Eodown of Fairfax and Carlos Rey of Lake Forest, Calif.
Air Force Airmen 1st Class Christopher Kirwan and Laura Benoit and Air Force Airman Carl Mase have graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.
Kirwan, son of Kathy Kirwan of Amelia Island, Fla., and brother of Kim Kirwan of Vienna, graduated in 2008 from Marshall High School. Benoit, daughter of Paul Benoit and Patricia Balbalian of Lorton, graduated in 2005 from Hayfield Secondary School and received a bachelor's degree in 2009 from James Madison University. Mase, son of Carla Ronk of Alexandria, graduated in 2010 from Mount Vernon High School.
Send news for the Congratulations page to Lorin Buck at lbuck@FairfaxTimes.com. Deadline is noon Friday.