Celebrating our 2020 scholarship recipients

Each year, a panel of LSSNCA staff and volunteers read through scholarship applications for the Bold Journey and Elizabeth Kreiser Weisburger Scholarships. This year we are excited to award five Bold Journey Scholarships and one winner for the Weisburger Scholarship.

The Bold Journey Scholarships are intended to further the dreams and success of clients by awarding funds for college education, vocational training, and certifications. For many of our clients with professional credentials and experience, they have left behind careers in their home countries to start a new life in the U.S., and the cost of the re-credentialing process can be a tremendous challenge. For other clients, the cost of an undergraduate degree can be daunting. Consideration for the award is weighted towards applicants who have demonstrated the ability to achieve in the face of adversity. Applicants must be residents of the DMV and clients of LSSNCA. 

The Elizabeth Kreiser Weisburger Scholarship is given in honor of the life and work of Dr. Weisburger. Applicants for the Weisburger scholarship must be a client of a Lutheran Social Ministry organization in the ELCA Metropolitan Washington, DC Synod. These organizations include: Community Family Life Services, LSSNCA, N Street Village, National Lutheran Communities and Services, New Course Restaurant and Catering, Southeast Ministry, and Housing Up. This scholarship is awarded to an individual who is pursuing an undergraduate degree at a 4 or 2 year accredited college. 

Please join us in congratulating our winners for the 2020 – 2021 school year! Below are short bios of each winner. Additionally, we asked each winner what education means to them. 

Bold Journey Scholarship Winners

AndreAndre B. was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo He is studying psychology at Goucher College and plans to be a psychologist. He is a prior winner of a Bold Journey Scholarship. According to Andre, “A lot of emphasis is put on education and rightfully so. It is important to be well informed and have the knowledge and the ability to do something you want. However, a lot of emphasis is put so much on a single paper such as a high school diploma or a college degree. I have seen people who have college degrees and do nothing with it. Education to me is about empowering. Not only give them the tools but the confidence for them to be able to go out there and feel as if they can do whatever they want to do. Education is an opportunity to learn something new every day to not improve yourself, but the people around you. As of now, I am very happy with my education whether I am able to get a degree or not (and don’t mistake this with my determination to get my degree) as I feel like I have learned information that has helped me grow and be able to understand others. Education is not about a piece of paper but the knowledge, ability, and tools to go make positive changes in your life and the people around you.”


Diane I. was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is studying nursing at Marymount University. According to Diane, “Education helps me get knowledge and explore the world. It gives me ideas about possible future careers.”


Mahsa A. was born in Afghanistan, and is studying pre-med at George Mason volunteering at a local hospital. She is a prior winner of  Bold Journey and Weisburger Scholarships. According to Mahsa, “Education is one of the most essential aspects of my life. With education, we get to know ourselves and the world around us. It provides the knowledge to reach our best potential and make the world a better place for all.” See this blog recently written about Mahsa and her experience with education. 


Tefera M. was born in Ethiopia where he had a career as an engineer and will be studying building trades at Montgomery College. Tefera is honored to be a scholarship recipient this year. He says it means alot to him since he has struggled to fulfill his dreams. According to Tefera, “Education is a tool used to see your community and environment and helps you to find solutions for the community for a better future.”

Elizabeth Kreiser Weisburger Scholarship Winner

LuwamLuwam E., a prior scholarship winner, who was born in Eritrea and is studying psychology and education at Marymount University and plans a career as a counselor or teacher. According to Luwam, “Education is one of the most important aspects of my life. Education is fundamental to progress and improving your self and mind. It makes me think outside of the box. Education encourages me to better myself and use the knowledge that I have learned in school to express myself. Also I want to teach other people what I have learned. With that being said, education is the key to new opportunities and is constantly changing and offering new experiences and  knowledge. It opens a lot of doors to dip in.”

Our scholarships do not cover a full semester of tuition for these individuals. If you are moved by their stories, please consider a gift to add to the amount of the awarded Bold Journey Scholarship. Please give to ensure that the doctors, nurses, psychologists, engineers and public servants of the future can achieve their dreams. Our community will be stronger through your gift. You can give today here.

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