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"Good Art Takes You Places": Class of 2022's Adia Colvin Wins Three Prestigious Scholarships
Mrs. Alexandra Oglesby, Director of Communications

Cape Henry Collegiate’s Adia Colvin '22 has been selected as a Cooke College Scholar, granting her up to $55,000 annually for four years to attend college.

As one of 100 recipients out of more than 5,000 applicants, Adia beat incredible odds to win the scholarship.

Then, she did it again, earning one of 300 awards given annually by The Gates Scholarship, and again, winning one of about 45 scholarships awarded each year by the Ron Brown Scholar Program. 

Despite the improbability of winning these three prestigious scholarships, Director of College Counseling Mrs. Liz Stello was not surprised. 

“Knowing Adia and who she is, these are appropriate for a young lady of her caliber and personality and abilities,” said Mrs. Stello. “The odds of not just getting one but several of these scholarships – it’s the first time it’s happened in my 17-year career.”

In Ninth Grade, Adia came to CHC as a Cooke Young Scholar, a highly selective program established for students with financial need.

“I didn’t think private school was going to be an option for me,” Adia said. “With the scholarship, I realized I had more options educationally, and I picked the right one coming to Cape Henry.”

Also a member of CHC’s Laila Serpe Distinguished Scholars Program, Adia’s tuition and school expenses have been covered by generous donors, for whom she is grateful.

The money, however, is only part of the value of these programs.

“Options aren’t something people from less fortunate socioeconomic backgrounds are aware of,” Adia said. “Knowing there are options is the first step in being able to flourish.”

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Young Scholars Program and Cape Henry Collegiate provided the opportunity to flourish, but Adia’s incredible potential was long evident.

“Adia’s writing reveals a deep thinker who has followed her own path,” said College Counselor Ms. Rebecca Lilienstern. “That path started when she wrote a small book when she was nine years old.”

Adia went on to write a play based on the Greek Pharaohs in middle school and perhaps even more impressively, convinced her classmates to act it out.

At Cape Henry, she has written, acted in, and directed multiple theater productions, revived the School’s literary magazine, and is now a member of the prestigious Cum Laude Society, awarded to students among the top 20 percent of their class.

Still, Adia has moments of self-doubt.

“Imposter syndrome is real. The past me, who’s put in a lot of work getting good grades and honing the skill of writing and creating – she deserves a lot of things and she’s a remarkable person,” Adia said. “It’s really hard to be kind to yourself in the present moment and accept those things.”

Coupled with that uncertainty is a feeling of excitement, as Adia prepares to graduate and looks ahead to college.

“Adia believes that good art takes you places,” said Ms. Lilienstern.

Indeed it has, sending Adia on a path to Rhode Island, where she will continue to focus on her creative writing at Brown University. 

“The clearest idea I have is that I’m going to be writing,” Adia said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

The Cooke, Gates, and Ron Brown awards are great honors, and CHC Upper School English teacher Mrs. Robyn Judge believes they are only the beginning for Adia.

“We are probably looking into the face of a Pulitzer Prize winner,” Mrs. Judge said. “She is one of the most talented creative writing students I’ve had the pleasure of mentoring. She is genuine, funny, and brilliant, all rolled into one.”





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