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First College and Career Senior Challenge

See who participated in the first ever College and Career Senior Challenge and who went home with scholarships!

Ballou High School
Winner: Triony Valdivia-Cazzol
Coolidge High School
Winner: Jasmine Bolding

Banneker High School
Winner: Benjamin Acquah
Runner up: Alexis Vivar
Bell High School
Winner: Rahiel Gebre
Runner up: Jose Lopez
Eastern High School
Winner: Daesean Evans
Runner up: Kiara Hill
McKinley Tech
Winner: Fayo Aiyetan
Runner up: Malik Arbertha

View video highlights from the last Challenge.

Here's the full list of seniors and their topics presented at last year's Senior Challenge!

McKinley Tech
Shannon Mann, Picking a College Roommate
Fayo Aiyetan, Rising College Tuition Costs
Yazmeen Kelly, Wage Equality for Women
Oliver Borris, Paying College Athletes
Malik Arbertha, Value of a College Degree
Daniel Lynch, Paying College Athletes

Ashley Roberts, Expanding Federal College Grants
Alexis Vivar, Opportunities for Undocumented Students
Benjamin Acquah, Financial Aid for Undocumented Students
Michael Hudson, Benefits of Community College
Sherri Daniels, College Tuition

Triony Valdivia-Cazzol, Measuring College's Worth

Columbia Heights Educational Campus
Rahiel Gebre, Sexual Abuse on College Campus
Jose Lopez, Cyber Security
Evelyn Figuereo, Global Effects of Destroying the Rainforest
Joseline Flores, Legalizing Marijuana and the Economy

Daesean Evans, College Hazing
Kiara Hill, Balancing College Social Life And Academics

Jasmine Bolding, Multiculturalism And Its Relation To A College Education

A special thanks goes out to the business and education leaders in our community who agreed to be a part of this exciting event.


  • Courtney Armour, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Lisa Banks, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Development, The Constitution Project
  • Brijin Boddy, Manager of Children and Teen Services, MLK Jr. Library
  • Colleen Brady, Director, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • Denise Bowyer, Vice President, American Income Life and National Income Life Insurance Companies
  • Lily Buerkle, Global Good Fund
  • Julie Caccamise, Wilson High School
  • Kesha Chandler, Philanthropic Associate for the City Fund
  • Corie Colgan, Deputy Chief, Literacy and Humanities of DC Public Schools
  • Dr. Edward Comstock, Professor, Department of Literature, American University
  • Laurie Davis, Esq., Retired Public Defender
  • Dan Elbert, Senior Instructional Designer, Government Accountability Office
  • Jamila Z. Felton, Librarian, Ed.M, MLIS, DC Public Library
  • Jeff Fergus, Catalogue for Philanthropy
  • Liz Gossens, Senior Associate, Communications Strategy Group
  • Charles Green, Corporate Shuffle
  • Dannie Greenberg, Senior Vice President, Elevate
  • Debbie Harrison, Senior Manager, Public Policy at the National Business Group on Health
  • John Hyman, Director, College Writing Program, American University
  • Tamara Derenak Kaufax, Chair, Fairfax County School Board
  • Brian Kildee, Vice President, Groundswell Communications, Inc.
  • Fred Kraziese, Social Media Director, SmithGifford
  • Mary Lord, DC State Board of Education Member
  • Creighton Macy, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati
  • David N. Paris, Senior Director, Alvarez & Marsal’s Global Forensic and Dispute Services 
  • Bob Peck, Director of Workplace Consulting, Southeast Region at Gensler
  • David Pelletier, Esq., Attorney Advisor, Justice for Vets
  • Laurence Peters, Johns Hopkins University School of Education
  • Melissa Reaktenwalt, Partner and Financial Advisor, Highlander Financial Group
  • Rene Redwood, CEO, Redwood Enterprise
  • Gregory Roberts, former Executive Director of the American College Personnel Association and past president of the Rotary Club of Capital Hill
  • Seth Silber, Partner, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati
  • Elissa Silverman, DC Council Member-at-Large
  • David Sterling, Chair, PR and Administration Committee - Rotary Club of Capitol Hill, Owner, Sterling Business Insights LLC
  • Gretchen Van der Veer, Executive Director, Fair Chance
  • Joe Weedon, Companies for Causes and DC State Board of Education
  • Ariel Wilson, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
  • Laura Wilson, Flamboyan Foundation and DC State Board of Education
  • Margie Yeager, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education