New Fellowships Expand Student Interests in Equity, Leadership, and Service

Upper School students now have more opportunities than ever to pursue independent study projects, with funding provided by three new, permanently endowed student fellowships.
The Vernot-Jonas Family Fellowship encourages students who have innovative ideas and a demonstrated passion for creating a more inclusive and just society. Established in 2017 by NCS parents Richard Jonas and Katherine Vernot-Jonas, recipients have used the fellowship to actively expand their own understanding in the areas of equity, diversity, or social justice.
Blake Coleman '21 studied how the social determinants of health affect healthcare equity in Washington, D.C. Ariana Lofti '21, meanwhile, focused on understanding the journeys of refugees from war-torn homelands to the United States. Both students led discussions with fellow students on these topics during the 2019-2020 school year.
The Vernot-Jonas fellow for 2020 is Madeline Hopper '21, who will study how barriers to the polls and teen activism affect the youth vote in D.C.
The Kathleen O'Neill Jamieson Student Fellowship was established this year by Carol Armstrong Dillon '63 and Tom Dillon. It encourages students to deeply explore areas of interest, particularly in the realm of gender equity and women's empowerment. The fellowship was inspired by Jamieson's beliefs that NCS women have the moral and intellectual strength to make great contributions to society and that student projects empower young women and give an exciting preview of great things to come.
The inaugural recipient of the Jamieson fellowship, Lyla Bhalla-Ladd '21, was announced this April. Her project will focus on the impact of all-female secret societies in male-dominated spaces.
The Reynolds Service Fellowship, established by NCS parents Diana and Roland Reynolds and the Virginia Sargeant Reynolds Foundation, is dedicated to NCS's core value of service and helps inspire students to serve in meaningful ways, contribute to the greater good, and respond with conscious connection and purpose to the needs of others.
Peniel Ouabo '21 and Claire Zegger '21 are the first recipients of the Reynolds fellowship. Both students had been planning to travel abroad this summer through the fellowship, but COVID-19 has compelled them to reimagine or reschedule those projects.
Thank you to the generous donors who provide enriching experiences for NCS students!
    • Katherine Vernot-Jonas, center, with inaugural Vernot-Jonas Fellows Blake Coleman '21, left, and Ariana Lofti '21.

    • Coleman presents her research on healthcare equity to students in February.

    • Lofti answers students' questions about refugee immigration.