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Devin D. Thorpe

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Winners of Second Annual Beau Biden Memorial Scholarship Announced

Ten recent Delaware high school graduates recognized for their accomplishments; will be awarded $22,000 in scholarship funds by Delaware-based philanthropic foundation, I Could Do Great Things

Press Release – Wilmington, Del. (May 19, 2017) – The I Could Do Great Things Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of its second annual Beau Biden Memorial Scholarship. The 2017 Scholarship recipients are all high school graduates from Delaware – Christie Little of Harrington, Alex Russo of Wilmington and Samantha Steeman of Bear. Additionally, seven applicants who have committed to attend the University of Delaware in the fall will each receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Little, a graduating senior of Lake Forest High School who will attend Swarthmore College in the fall, receives the Scholarship’s Gold Award of $10,000. Russo, a 2017 graduate of Concord High School, and Steeman, a 2017 graduate of Caravel Academy, are co-recipients of the Silver Award, each receiving $2,500. This coming fall, Russo will be a freshman at American University, while Steeman will be attending the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to the Gold and Silver winners, The Foundation has awarded $1,000 to seven Delaware high school seniors who will be attending the University of Delaware in the fall. Those winners include:

Michael Chaffinch – Laurel High School
Taylor Coleman – Appoquinimink High School
Skyler Hudson – Indian River High School
Anna McCarter – Charter School of Wilmington
Elana Montejo – Smyrna High School
Sansskruty Rayavarapu – Cab Calloway School of the Arts
Hayley Whiting – Caravel Academy

Named after former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, who passed away in 2015 at age 46, the scholarship was established by the I Could Do Great Things Foundation, an independent Delaware-based philanthropy. The scholarship honors college-bound high school seniors from Delaware “who embody the virtues of Beau Biden, who exhibited qualities of leadership, community, civility, respect, and a strong moral compass.”

The Scholarship selection team, consisting of members of the Biden family, reviewed applications from more than 145 high school seniors before naming this year’s winners.

The Biden Family, who serve as members of the selection committee, commented that, “These graduates are seeking to build a future that exemplifies and continues Beau’s legacy of service and accomplishment. Christie, Alex and Samantha really demonstrated the highest standard of academics, leadership and compassion in their school and local communities. We are confident that they will each go on to do great things and are thrilled to help support their future success.”

Christie Little, who actively volunteers for numerous non-profit organizations while carrying a 4.3 GPA, wrote about her passion for service and community activism. “I know that to see a world of kindness and respect, I must embody the qualities of tolerance and compassion, and spread that message of love and civility to those around me,” said Little.

Alex Russo noted in his essay how Beau Biden chose justice over politics, “Compassion, justice, opportunity. These were all thing Beau fought for and what encouraged me to go into public service.”

Samantha Steeman has grown from a Special Olympics Delaware Unified partner to a certified coach. Samantha works with athletes in figure skating and soccer. Steeman knows that, “leadership is about acting upon talents and communicating to help improve your community or group, inspiring those around you to serve.”

More on the 2017 Beau Biden Memorial Gold and Silver Scholarship recipients:

Christie Little – Beau Biden Memorial Scholarship Gold Award

Christie Little, of Harrington, Del., is a 2017 graduate of Lake Forrest High School in Felton, DE. Ranked first in her class, Ms. Little earned Honors at Lake Forest, graduating with a 4.3 GPA in a curriculum that included 6 Advanced Placement courses. Christie’s leadership positions at school included her roles as Lake Forest Student Council President, Kent County Philanthropy Board, and Secretary of Lake Forest FFA. In 2016, Ms. Little was selected as Miss Lake Forest and received a National Merit Scholarship Program Commendation.

Alex Russo – Beau Biden Memorial Scholarship Silver Award

Alex Russo, of Wilmington, Del., is a 2017 graduate of Wilmington-based Concord High School. Graduating with a 3.7 GPA, Mr. Russo serves as President of Concord’s Educators Rising program and volunteered more than 250 hours toward community and school-based service initiatives during the 2015-2016 school year.

Samantha Steeman – Beau Biden Memorial Scholarship Silver Award

Samantha Steeman, of Bear, Del., is a 2017 graduate of Caravel Academy. Ms. Steeman is ranked first in her class and has earned both an AP Scholar Distinction and Scholar Athlete recognition. In her senior year, Ms. Steeman served as captain of the cross-country team, the President of Caravel’s National Honor Society and a project leader for the school’s Jefferson Awards program.

Details about the Beau Biden Memorial Scholarship can be found on the Foundation’s site at

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