The Family of Man Council 7566 of the Knights of Columbus in Reston, VA, is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2022 college scholarships. Leo Anthony Weeks, Catherine Marie Claman, and Luke W. Lodge each received a $1,000 scholarship. All three of this year's scholarship recipients highlight an essential teaching of St. Frances De Sales, "Be Who You Are and Be That Well."
The Family of Man Council awarded scholarships to graduating high school seniors and students already in college to help defray the costs of higher education. Applicants for the scholarship submitted an essay demonstrating their strength of character and articulating their desire and motivation for obtaining higher education. Their essay included examples to show their Christian Life and their devotion to and the love of Jesus. Applicants needed to be practicing Catholics and their family members of St John Neumann Parish in Reston, VA.
Leo Weeks graduated from Oakton High School with a cumulative 3.648 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society. Leo earned an Academic Letter and Gold Pin for his 4.0 GPA during the 20/21 School Year. He is an Eagle Scout and a Third Degree Knight. Leo is a regular volunteer at our Charity Breakfasts at SJN and is a true role model for volunteerism and community service. Leo's own words say it best: "My purpose in life is to give others hope! I want to show my community, my country, and maybe the world that people with Down Syndrome are valuable members of society. I want to encourage more people with Down Syndrome to join Scouting and Knights of Columbus and to serve others."
Catherine Claman graduated from South Lakes High School in 2021 with a GPA of over 4.0. Catherine attended NVCC for her first semester of college before starting her spring semester at the College of William and Mary. An active member of the Saint John Neumann Parish from elementary through high school, Catherine was a member of the Children's Choir, attended Vacation Bible School camp, and became a camp counselor. She was also a member of the Youth Pastoral Council in middle school, supporting efforts to impact our Parish Community positively. Catherine is pursuing Veterinary Medicine and is a Biology Major on a Pre-Veterinary track at William and Mary and hopes to pursue the Army Veterinary Scholarship program in which she may attend Veterinary School. In Catherine's words, "I believe God has always wanted me to make an impact in the world by helping others, and I felt that calling since I was a young girl handing out Tootsie Rolls in exchange for charitable donations with the Knights of Columbus. I believe I can use my love of animals and the knowledge I will acquire in school to help take care of the animals that are protecting our country, which will be what I can give back to God for Him giving me such a fortunate and blessed life."
Luke Lodge is a 2022 graduate of Oakton High School with a GPS of 4.355. His achievements included the National Honor Society, FCPS Superintendent Advisory Council Delegate, Oakton High School Officer (VP), Oakton Varsity Soccer Team, Oakton HS Scholar-Athlete Award, and Captain of the Herndon Travel Team from 2018-2022. His volunteerism and community service include SJN Altar Server from 2014-2022, Arlington Diocese Workcamp 2019-2022, Hypothermia Shelter Volunteer 2018, and Vacation Bible School Counselor 2018 and 2019. As Luke states, "I expanded my faith community and grew as a strong Catholic through attending youth pastoral council activities and joining Workcamps. Through the Arlington Diocese Workcamp, I had the opportunity to build stairs and benches and provide landscaping to the surrounding areas of SJN. From that year forward, I've continued to participate in Workcamp. In my junior year, our project was building a new deck for a resident. The defining moment for me was when the resident took her young children out to the deck, and I saw their faces full of joy. As a result of finding my calling of service, I'll be studying Architecture at Virginia Tech next year. Specifically, I'll be majoring in Building Construction Science and Management."
The Brothers of the Family of Man Council are proud to recognize these young people and wish them all the best in their educational pursuits.