Our scholarship and stipend winners are exceptional! 

(Thanks to hard work & the Arlington School System.)


2019 Winners

From left to right: ARC President Robert Martinson; Stipend Winner Edzon Quinteros; AREF President Sherry Barndollar Rock; Scholarship Winner José Pomarino; Rotary District 7610 Governor W. Glenn Yarborough.



2018 Winners

From left to right: Speaker Rosaelena O’Neil (NVCC Trustee), Scholarship Winner Undrakh Tsend, AREF President Sherry Barndollar Rock, Stipend Winner Kervin Galdamez-Carranza, ARC President David Sutfin.

2017 Winners

From left to right: Congressman Don Beyer with Scholarship Winner Geovanny Morales and Stipend Winner Veronica Rojas.
Joined by Rotary District Governor Janet Brown and AREF President  Joe Lott.

The AREF American Challenge Stipend in Memory of Audra Rafter

The Arlington Rotary Challenge Stipend was created in 2013, to help Arlington Community High School (ACHS) graduates who have made a dramatic turn-around in their educational pursuits and who need financial support to attend college. The first such grant was made possible by a generous donor; subsequent grants have been funded by AREF and other interested donors. (ACHS was formerly named Arlington Mill High School.)

2019 Winner Edzon Quinteres Saique, graduated from ACHS, where he was an honor student. Edzon is originally from Bolivia and speaks Spanish and English. He is currently employed as a web developer in Arlington and states that Computer Science was his favorite subject in school. At ACHS he received student of the week award, and was been recognized for his work in web design and development. Edzon began taking online courses through University of the People while attending Arlington Community High School and working two jobs. This scholarship will allow him to quit one job and attend NOVA full time. Edson’s goal is to return to Bolivia to teach computer science classes and share his knowledge. 

2018 Winner Kervin Galdamez-Carranza, attended ACHS full-time while working full-time.  He was a member of Key Club and coordinated fundraising events.  Kervin is majoring in business administration at Northern Virginia Community College.  He wants to start his own business one day. 

2017 Winner Veronica Rojas is an Arlington resident who graduated from ACHS in 2017 where she attended class regularly and was a student leader in The Key Club. Despite having to work full-time to support herself and her family, she persevered at her high school studies and completed several scholarship projects. She has now graduated from Northern Virginia Community College. Her goal is to transfer to a 4-year college and to some day own a restaurant.

2016 Winner Alejandra Fernandez is an Arlington resident who graduated from ACHS in 2016. She attended class regularly and was a student leader in The Key Club. She ran fundraisers that paid for 4 scholarships in Senegal. In addition to this, she worked full-time to support herself and her younger brother. She went on to graduate from Northern Virginia Community College. Her goal is to attend George Mason University and become a social worker.

2015 Winner Rosa Barrera is an Arlington resident who graduated from ACHS in 2015. Rosa arrived from Guatemala in October of 2012, and started high school as an English Language Learner without any high school credits. In addition to attending school full time and being a full-time parent, Rosa works at a local restaurant to support herself and her son. She attended Northern Virginia Community College and hopes to get a degree in nursing and work at a hospital.

2014 Winner José Mateos Nunez graduated from ACHS in 2014 and works in the food service industry to provide for himself and his daughter. A native of Mexico, he studied business at Northern Virginia Community College.  While at ACHS, he showed a high level of insight and academic acumen in his studies.

2013 Winner Edson Flores was awarded a two year stipend by the Arlington Rotary Educational Foundation on July 18, 2013. An Arlington resident, Edson graduated from ACHS in 2012 and was a server at Gordon Biersch Restaurant. He graduated from Northern Virginia Community College studying business. 

The AREF Academic Scholarship

2019 Winner José Pomarino Nima graduated from Wakefield High School with a perfect 4.5 GPA. He volunteered with The Red Cross Club and Wakefield Upstanders, dedicated to getting rid of bullying an harassment. He speaks English and Spanish and is learning French, Italian and American Sign Language. He attends Columbia University where he is studying Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. 

2018 Winner Undrakh Tsend, graduated from Yorktown High School in 2018.  She is currently attending William and Mary University.  Her family emigrated from Mongolia. She plays the violin, speaks English, Spanish, and Mongolian. She volunteers at AFAC and AHC. She wants to work for a non-profit organization or become a diplomat.

Update, Fall 2019: Undrakh is studying International Relations and Russian Studies at College of William and Mary. Overall she is thriving and doing well in school. In addition to her studies, she works at the Global Research Institute. She joined a sorority and has done some service trips. She is also the editor of a blog.

2017 Winner Geovanny Morales graduated from Washington-Lee High School in 2017 with a 4.2 GPA and is attending Dartmouth College. His interests include music and sports. He was a member of his school’s marching band, jazz band, and symphonic band. He played soccer, lacrosse, and tennis. He did all of this while holding a part-time job at Starbucks and tutoring kids in music and lacrosse. His career goal is to become a diplomat.

2016 Winner Callie Randall graduated from Washington-Lee High School in 2016 with a 4.2 GPA and is attending Georgetown University. In high school, she was president of the National Honor Society and a reporter for the school newspaper. She enjoys singing, writing music, and playing piano. She worked part time at Brick's Pizza. Callie is interested in justice and peace studies and hopes to work for an international non-profit organization after gaining a master’s degree.

2015 Winner Trang "Vicky" Vo of Washington-Lee High School graduated in 2015 with a 4.2 GPA and attends Virginia Commonwealth University. She is pursuing a pharmacy degree. She is a first generation college student who was raised by her single mother. She worked part time at Fortune restaurant to save for college. She was an active President in the Direct Relief International Club to help countries around the world that have been struck by natural disaster and are facing serious poverty.

2014 Winner Enkhjin Tuvshinskaya, a graduate of Washington-Lee High School, immigrated from Mongolia in 2003 with her family and will graduate in June 2018 from James Madison University with a degree in International Business.  Besides being an outstanding scholar, who also took part in summer overseas work-study programs, she participated in a variety of extracurricular activities such as tutoring, volunteering to work with the elderly and disabled, and fundraising for charitable causes.  She was President of her school's Red Cross Club, a speaker for the Dream Project, and a summer camp teacher for Mongolian children.  

2013 Winner Victor Gomez graduated from Wakefield High School with a 4.35 GPA and attended Yale University.  He had plans to pursue a degree in Economics as part of a pre-med path to Medical School. Besides being an outstanding scholar, Victor participated in many extracurricular activities and was elected to multiple leadership positions:  captain of the Wakefield Track and Field Team, member of Wakefield’s Leadership Team, member of the Teen Network Board, and Secretary of the National Honor Society.  He was recognized as an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor.  He was a four year member of the Principal’s Honor Roll and achieved perfect attendance in high school.  He has been a tutor, camp counselor, and interned in a doctor’s office as well as participating in numerous charitable fundraising events.  He plays piano and violin and also speaks Spanish.