Two students join ranks of several honored as Carson Scholars

Two students join ranks of several honored as Carson Scholars

Two Charles County Public Schools fifth graders – Brady Freundel and Jolie Lombardi – were recently named 2017 Carson Scholars, a national distinction that recognizes students for academic achievement, humanitarian qualities and community service. Carson Scholars receive a $1,000 college scholarship. Students selected for the distinction are eligible for an annual renewal of the scholarship as long as they maintain high academic standards and a commitment to their communities.  

Freundel attends Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary School and takes accelerated reading and math classes. He said he was honored to be chosen as a Carson Scholar. “I had to fill out a lot of paperwork and knew the program was competitive. I just received my letter last week and was honored to be chosen,” Freundel said.

Freundel said he received all A’s and B’s on his last report card. He loves science but also enjoys robotics and serving on the school math team. He plays the saxophone in the school band and is active in activities at his community church, Pisgah United Methodist Church. Earlier this school year, Freundel was named the overall winner in the Charles County Proud essay contest sponsored by the Charles County Chamber of Commerce. He has also been named to the honor roll for the past several school years and is part of the Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) team.

Additionally, Freundel recently contacted the La Plata Rotary Club about helping him set up a Little Free Library in the Nanjemoy/Pisgah area. The program is a free book exchange in which a box is set up for books and community members can take a book or add books to share. 

Lombardi attends Dr. Thomas L. Higdon Elementary School and is already planning her future as a special education teacher. She maintains honor roll grades and received all A’s, with one B, on her most recent report card. She likes helping people and is actively involved in the Kiwanis K-Kids Club at Higdon. Lombardi enjoys learning about leadership and is the current K-Kids Club co-treasurer. She was excited to learn of her Carson Scholars honor.

“I was very excited just to be picked. It is exciting being one of only two new students picked this year,” Lombardi said. While her favorite subject is math, Lombardi is also in accelerated reading classes. She is a safety patrol, member of the MESA team and Just Say No club, and participates in the Higdon Library Squad in which students help with book arrangements and keeping the media center inviting for their peers.

Lombardi’s mom is a CCPS instructional assistant and works with students in the Life Skills program. Lombardi said she enjoys seeing her mom work with special needs students and hopes she can do the same when she is older. Additionally, Lombardi is an avid violin player and enjoys helping community organizations with events to help those in need.

Freundel and Lombardi are two of 483 new scholars selected for the program this year.

Thirteen additional CCPS students received a Carson Scholars scholarship renewal. They are: Carla Arquero, senior, North Point High School; Eileen Browning, seventh grade, Milton M. Somers Middle School; Owen Butler, freshman, La Plata High School; Sarah Chen, senior, Maurice J. McDonough High School; Brett Culhane, senior, Henry E. Lackey High School; Tyler Dixon, senior, La Plata; Stephen Duranske, sophomore, St. Charles High School; Alyssa Gerhart, eighth grade, Benjamin Stoddert Middle School; Autumn Gray, sophomore, La Plata; Aryanna Ilamni, junior, North Point; Madelyn Mudd, freshman, La Plata; Connor Smith, senior, North Point; and Benjamin Williamson, sixth grade, General Smallwood Middle School. 

Scholars who are selected for a renewed scholarship are recognized for maintaining high academic standards and a strong commitment to their communities. More than 870 scholars were renewed this year.

Each year, the Carson Scholars Fund awards $1,000 college scholarships to a select group of high achieving students in grades four through 12 who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and humanitarian qualities. Students must have a minimum 3.75 grade-point average to be considered. The scholarships are invested for the students’ college education.

An awards ceremony for new scholars is planned for April 30. Students will receive a medal and framed certificate of achievement and their school will receive a trophy to recognize their scholar’s accomplishment.

The Carson Scholars Fund was founded in 1994 by world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Benjamin S. Carson and his wife, Candy, to motivate and reward academic excellence in young people. The Carson Scholars Fund has awarded more than 7,300 scholarships and has scholars in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Visit the Carson Scholars website at for more information.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,400 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

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