Marakie Yilekal and Anjali Ghafoerkhan

Two PWCS seniors are among only 11 statewide earning the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. Leadership Award. Anjali Ghafoerkhan, Gar-Field High School, and Marakie Yilekal, Osbourn Park High School, will receive $25,000 for earning the award, which recognizes Virginia high school seniors who exhibit excellence of character, leadership, devotion to duty, and academic accomplishment.

“As a first-generation Ethiopian American student, I can say that this award has given me the confidence to dream bigger and push for my goals. I look forward to continuing this honor at university where I'll be studying Global and Public Health,” explained Marakie. “I am excited to see what the future has in store.”

"Winning the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. Leadership Award has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I am so grateful to all those involved with the award process and for all the people who have helped me get where I am today,” expressed Anjali.

Every year, winners are selected from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts. The Harry F. Byrd, Jr. Leadership Award Program was established in 1994 by former U.S. Senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr. It was Senator Byrd’s hope that the award would create a desire for excellence among students and provide recognition and financial support to students with outstanding leadership qualities.