Eighty-six Fairfax County high-school seniors, who recently completed the Global Leaders of Fairfax County program, were honored by county officials at a May 23 closing ceremony at the Mason District Park Amphitheater.
Founded in 2020 by former at-large Fairfax County School Board member Ryan McElveen, the program is the first of its kind in the region. The program seeks to prepare participants to be global citizens and change agents in their local community and the world.
McElveen, the program’s managing director, said he founded the Global Leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic “to fill a void of global studies in the K-12 curriculum.”
“It is a void I have been working to fill since I was your age – when this current cicada brood first burrowed into the ground,” he said. “There was, and still remains, a need to internationalize our curriculum at all levels.”
Program fellow undergo a rigorous admissions process, then throughout their senior year of high school engage with leaders from various fields to advance their understanding of international affairs and global issues.
Officials gave six students who completed the program special recognition for their contributions in the initiative’s inaugural year:
• Julia Bodet of McLean High School, who will attend Columbia University-Sciences Po.
• Eugene Cho of George C. Marshall High School, who will attend Duke University.
• Warisha Hussein of South County High School, who will attend Northwestern University.
• Alina Saiyid of Westfield High School, who will attend the University of Pittsburgh.
• Maggie Tong of Oakton High School, who will attend Northeastern University.
• Dao Tran of Westfield High School, who will attend the University of Virginia. Officials also presented her with the inaugural Global Leader Award for designing the program’s logo and documenting the program’s meetings and activities for social media.
Other students from the Sun Gazette’s readership area who completed the program included:
• McLean High School students Michelle Cheng, Samir Chowdhury, Sabrina Kianni, Sojung (Emma) Lee, Dua Mobin, Yeeun (Jennie) Moon, Brittany Peng and Sophia Powell.
• George C. Marshall High School students Sonel Cutler, Alec Manousos and Zamir Ticknor.
• Langley High School students Joshua DeFilipps, Casey LaTeef and Eliana Schoenberg.
• Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology students Jenalyn Dizon, Joseph Dodson, Tiffany Ji, Justin Paul, Harini Somanchi, Karen Song, Sarah Wang and Sophie Wang.
• Oakton High School students Aijia Han, Anika Kumar, Pritika Modhukuru, Mitra Nayeri, Melanie Palmer, Sung-Hyun (Diana) Park and Kevina Wang.
• James Madison High School student Gwen Setia.