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Riverdale Lions Club Scholarship Winners Announced

Two students were awarded $1,000 in funding, while a third was given an honorable mention.

The following was submitted by the Riverdale Lions Club:

On Sept. 21, the Riverdale Lions Club and Riverdale Park Council member Jonathan Ebbeler (Ward 1) announced the winners of their inaugural scholarship program that recognizes two area students with $1,000 each in scholarship funding to help further their educations.

Kelsey Jarman, of Riverdale Park, and Semira Tesfai, of Hyattsville, will receive awards at the Sept. 26 when the Lions meet at the Riverdale Park Town Hall at 7 pm while Riverdale’s Andrew Waldron will get an honorable mention.

The students were selected for their top-end grade point averages upon graduation from high school last spring and for their on-going commitments to community service. Jarman, 17, who graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt High School with a 3.8 cumulative grade-point average, has just began her freshman year at Towson University where she is studying physical therapy and musical theater. She is intends to continue on to medical school.

With just a month of college under her belt, Jarman says she has discovered that going away from school “is a really cool freedom” that she believes will help her soar. “I go to class all day and do my homework in the evening and I have great opportunities here.” She is surprised that her hardest class of the week is acting class where she’s directed to think and act outside her normal structured life. She’s learned that she’s “over analyzing, over thinking and it’s a bit overwhelming.”

Tesfai, 18, is currently attending the University of Maryland/College Park where she intends to major in communications and government with a focus politics. She hopes to earn a masters degree in Public Policy and have a career in education reform. Tesfai won the respect of her teachers at Northwestern High by being a member of the Honors Freshman English class, taking four AP classes and several honors classes, joining the Mock Trial, International Studies, and the National Honor Society clubs while playing on the school’s softball and soccer teams and still maintaining a 3.1 GPA. And she also found time to serve as the Eritrean Youth Group chairperson.

“I am beyond pleased and honored to have been selected as a recipient for such an amazing award,” said Tesfai.

“Semira has the maturity, dedication and persistence to successfully maneuver the academia at a four year institution,” said Yvette Wright, one of her Northwestern counselors. “She has a compassionate nature and is revered by her peers for her willingness to help, her competitiveness in athletics and her general warm personality.”

The Lions and Council member Ebbeler were impressed with the applications they received and have granted an additional “honorable mention” award to Andrew Waldron of Riverdale. The award comes with a $250 contribution to his education at the University of Maryland/College Park. Waldon, who says he’s grateful for the recognition, is a junior working on a BS in Psychology and Neuroscience. He enjoys working with the Takoma Pak Meals on Wheels and with the University of Maryland Gymkana Troupe which performs at local schools educating children about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

“The Lions Club is thrilled to create these scholarships and proud of our young winners who exemplify the energetic and smart generation that will make tomorrow’s leaders and tomorrow’s Lions,” said "King Lion" Patrick Prangley. “I salute Councilman Ebbeler, who represents the essence of what it means to be a Lion. I thank him for his generous financial contribution to these scholarships and his tireless efforts to find such impressive and worthy winners.”

The Lions Club International is a 95-year-old secular service organization with more than 1.3 million members worldwide and is perhaps best known for its work with the blind and for its hearing and speech conservation, diabetes awareness and youth outreach programs. The Riverdale Lions Club, chartered in 1971, last year provided eye exams and glasses for more than 60 Riverdale area youth and needy persons, and distributed more than 50 food baskets to under privileged families at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Each year, the group collects hundreds of used pairs of eyeglasses that are refurbished and sent to people in need. The Riverdale Lions Club is also a significant contributor to community arts and youth programs.

The Lions Club is seeking partners for the 2012 holiday food baskets programs and for the 2013 scholarship awards program. For additional information, or for a membership application for the Riverdale Lions Club, contact immediate past King Lion Guy Tiberio at 240-375-8902, or guytiberio@gmail.com.

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