Loudoun County, Va. (June 11, 2015) – The 2015 CAMPUS Senior Celebration honored the academic achievements of 101 seniors who make up the organization’s Class of 2015 on Wednesday, May 27.
“We are here to celebrate your accomplishments,” said Chris Clarke, Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) CAMPUS program manager, as he opened the celebration in the School Board Meeting Room of the LCPS Administrative Offices in Ashburn.
CAMPUS is an academic and college-preparation program designed to meet the specific needs of students from historically under-represented populations in higher education and prospective first-generation college students attending LCPS high schools. In 2002, CAMPUS began with an enrollment of 36 students. In 2015, CAMPUS served more than 500 students throughout the school division.
“It is an honor to join in the celebration of the achievements of our seniors tonight,” said LCPS Superintendent Dr. Eric Williams. “I offer my sincere appreciation to all of you who have made a difference in the lives of these young people… And to the graduates, I offer sincere congratulations to each of you for arriving at this position…well done.”
Cesar Chavez-Romo, Loudoun County High School Class of 2015, introduced the keynote speaker, Jeanette Hordge-Smith, founder and CEO of DASH Coordinating & Marketing, LLC.
“Each of you have already paved a path,” said Hordge-Smith. “Whether it is for a younger brother or sister, a younger cousin or little friends in your neighborhood… you all are leading by example. Thank you.
“You are beginning the second level, which is real life. I am now going to give you secrets for being successful in the second level:
“1. Goals – lay out a road map – which are goals, then come up with a strategy for achieving those goals.
“2. Leadership – is developed by following gut feeling and starting to make those ‘executive decisions’. As leaders you will have to make the hard, responsible ‘executive decisions.’
“3. Internships – take advantage of internships – apply and pursue participation in an internship every summer for the next four years.
“Before I end, I want to leave you with four top secrets on how you can pass every class in college. No one will tell you these secrets…take out your phones,” advised Hordge-Smith.
“1. Sit on the front row of every class you take.
“2. Attend your classes on a regular basis and be on time.
“3. Make sure you visit your professors during their conference office hours.
“4. In every class you take, identify two students that will become your study partners and get their contact information.
“I commend you on what you have accomplished so far. I challenge you to dream even bigger for what you will accomplish in the future…and I assure you that the best is yet to come.”
Betty Jo Martin, secretary in the LCPS Office of School Counseling, awarded the Inspire to Aspire Scholarship Award to Alizah Robinson, a Woodgrove High School senior who plans to attend Virginia Tech in the fall. “Each year, I look forward to reading the future plans and accomplishments of the CAMPUS students,” said Martin. “You have inspired me to achieve my goal of earning a college education. In 2013, I achieved that goal. I extend my appreciation to all of you CAMPUS graduates for inspiring me. Your choices have paved your way toward earning a college degree.”
Joe T. May, a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, chairman of EIT, Inc. and chairman of the Loudoun Laurels, admitted something to the graduates. “I was what might be described as a magnificent underachiever in high school. I had to strike a deal with my principal so that he would re-instate me in my senior year so I could graduate if I promised that I would do something useful with my life.
“Loudoun Laurels is attempting to identify people who have talents they may not even recognize themselves and encourage them to develop those talents and become the good citizens they are meant to be.”
The Loudoun Laurels presented the Loudoun Laurels Stewardship Scholarship Award to Quentin Watts, a varsity athlete at Woodgrove High School who attended the Thomas D. Horne Leadership in the Law Summer Camp. Watts will attend Christopher Newport in the fall.