Lee Awarded $25,000 Sallie Mae Scholarship

Lee Awarded $25,000 Sallie Mae Scholarship
Posted on 11/07/2017
Damian Lee Awarded $25,000 Sallie Mae Scholarship

Damian Lee, a senior at Lake City High School, was awarded a $25,000 Bridging the Dream Scholarship from Sallie Mae, the nation’s saving, planning, and paying for college company at a surprise reveal event held at the Lake City Senior City.

Mayor Lovith Anderson and representatives of Sallie Mae were joined by local, state, school and community officials as well as Mychal Wynn, founder and CEO of the Foundation for Ensuring Access and Equity, who nominated Lee for the scholarship. Mayor Anderson also presented Lee with a key to the city during the event.

“Education, and in particular, higher education, provides endless opportunities for our young people,” said Mayor Anderson. “Damian is one of Lake City’s best and brightest. The sky is truly the limit, and this scholarship will help him reach college and continue to make Lake City proud. I’m honored to present him a key to our great city.”

Lee, 17, is ranked at the top of his class, and is a member of ROTC. He also serves as the president of Lake City High School’s Ensemble and Gospel Choir and the Tri-M Music Honor Society. He is a member of Dramatic Coffee Beans, Inc., an interactive drama club formed as a way for teenagers to discuss issues in their community. Lee was surprised with the scholarship after performing with the group.

“I’m surprised and overwhelmed by the support of so many people here today,” Lee said. “This is a life-changing moment for me and my family. I am so grateful to Mr. Wynn for nominating me for this scholarship and to Sallie Mae for helping me to pay for college.”

Lee said he plans to attend George Washington University and major in political science with a minor in journalism.

“Damian has worked incredibly hard, is extremely dedicated to his school and community, and is a true leader,” said Wynn. “I know that with this scholarship he will continue to build on his success and inspire others.”

Sallie Mae’s Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program recognizes inspiring high school juniors and seniors who excel in academics, athletics, community service or school activities, but whose financial circumstances may not permit them to fulfill their college dreams. This year, Sallie Mae will award $25,000 Bridging the Dream scholarships to five recipients selected from nominations submitted by high school counselors and community leaders across the U.S.

This is the second year of Sallie Mae’s Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program. In addition to company contributions, Sallie Mae employees organized a host of fundraising events, raising more than $57,000 to support scholarship recipients.

Sallie Mae received hundreds of nominations, and members of Sallie Mae’s Bridging the Dream Team are traveling around the country to meet with and evaluate the finalists. The team will meet with Damian next week. The winners will be announced before the end of 2017.

“The Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program exemplifies, in name and intent, what Sallie Mae is all about, and we are proud to be a part of a community of elected officials like Mayor Anderson, community leaders like Mychal Wynn, and school counselors, teachers, administrators, and others who want to help young people reach their potential,” said Martha Holler, senior vice president, Sallie Mae. “Damian has shown strength, determination and leadership, and we are so excited to help him take the next step in his education. 

For more information about the Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program, visit SallieMae.com/BridgingTheDream, or join the conversation by using #BridgingTheDream.

For more information about saving, planning and paying for college, visit SallieMae.com.