Ruffing Scholar – 2023
Baker Hasan, a 2023 graduate of Justice High School, has been awarded a Ruffing Scholarship. In honor and memory of ACCA founders Emily and Fred Ruffing, ACCA awards a scholarship each July to graduating high school seniors who have overcome disabilities.
Baker moved to the US from Iraq in 2013 and participated in cross-country, robotics, and multiple hackathons in high school while working on a service project to improve technology in schools. He also started the Computer Science Honor Society at Justice and developed a website for a nonprofit that provides help to families in Iraq.
Congratulations and best wishes to Baker as he continues his studies this fall at Virginia Tech.
Ruffing Scholar – 2022
Genesis Chavez Almendares is ACCA’s Ruffing Scholar for 2022. Genesis is a graduate of Justice High School where she was on the Honor Roll. She was active in a feeding the homeless program with her church. Genesis was also recognized for being a peer tutor for her classmates.
Genesis will be attending Northern Virginia Community College, focusing on Nursing and Anesthesiology.
In honor and memory of ACCA founders Emily and Fred Ruffing, ACCA awards a scholarship each July to graduating high school seniors who have overcome disabilities.
In 2015, teachers noticed Genesis had Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) characteristics. ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder which can include difficulties with concentration and distractions from surroundings while working on tasks. Genesis learned to manage her ADHD by using several strategies including graphic organizers to focus on steps within assignments, recognizing and avoiding potential distractions, self-advocating with teachers to monitor her gradebook for assignment completion, and seeking out clarification and assistance on challenging or overdue tasks.
Genesis wrote us the following note after being selected for the scholarship:
“I can’t thank you enough for the Ruffing Scholarship, giving me this big opportunity and selecting me. With my disabilities I’ve had a difficult time but everyday I reminded myself to never let anything ruin my dreams. This scholarship has made a big impact on me to continue achieving my goals, and will take off a lot of financial stress. After high school I look forward to studying at Northern Virginia Community College and focusing in Nursing and Anesthesiology. Much appreciated!”