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Center for Politics UVA Scholarship

Center for Politics Announces 2023 Scholarship Recipients

Four outstanding UVA students selected as recipients of Page and Fletcher honors

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – The Center for Politics at UVA has selected four outstanding University undergraduates as the 2023 recipients of the Douglas C. Page Scholarship and the G. Richard Fletcher Scholarship. Each scholarship carries an award of $2,500 to assist students in pursuing public-sector internships and public service that advances and honors the causes and issues that motivated the namesake of each scholarship.

2023 Recipients of the Douglas C. Page Scholarship

         2023 Douglas C. Page 22nd Century Scholars Stipend recipients Lila Edmonds (left) and Bryce Holland (right).

The Douglas C. Page 22nd Century Scholars Stipend supports two rising second-, third-, or fourth-year students to intern in the fields of voting rights, civil rights, human rights, politics, government, and/or public service. Established by University of Virginia alumnus Frank Leone (BA ’82, JD ’85), the Fund is named in memory of University of Virginia alumnus Douglas C. Page (COL ’84), who believed strongly in equality of opportunity and the promise of political activity to improve people’s lives. Page was from Columbia, SC, and paid for his college education. After graduating from UVA, he attended the University of South Carolina Law School and upon graduation clerked for two years with federal Judge C. Weston Houck (D.S.C.). In 1989, Page moved to Washington, DC to join the U.S. Department of Justice. He had contracted AIDS, and his illness forced him to return to South Carolina later that year. He died on March 24, 1990, in Columbia, SC, at age 28. In honor of Page, the 2023 recipients of the Douglas C. Page Scholarship are:

  • Lila Edmonds, of Columbia, SC, is a rising third-year student majoring in Foreign Affairs with a minor in Sociology. Among her impressive experiences to date, she has served as an administrative and paralegal intern with the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville; a social justice advocacy intern with the Jacksonville Urban League in Jacksonville, FL; and committee member of the UVA College Chapter of the NAACP. This summer, Lila will serve as an intern with South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson. Lila’s eventual career goals are to serve as a Public Defender in the areas of Prisoner and Reentry Services and/or with people who do not have access to adequate representation. In her application, Lila said, “I am interested in law because I can advocate for citizens who have been wronged and act as a helping voice when theirs have been silenced.”
  • Bryce Holland, of Poughkeepsie, NY, is a rising third-year student studying Education Policy with minors in Spanish and History. Holland is the founder of Sprout Student Group, which partners with teacher unions and student groups to campaign for local education policy reform, and has served as a research assistant with SEE-Partnerships, which studies public education in Virginia, Head Start, and Pre-K programs and surveys parents and guardians to learn about families’ experiences in accessing Early Childhood Education programs. This summer, Bryce will work in the Washington, DC Public School System, noting in his application that, “Good education policies…can systematically put high quality teachers in underprivileged classrooms, close achievement gaps, and help young people grow up to escape the cycle of poverty…someone just needs to put the work in to do it.”

2023 Recipients of the G. Richard Fletcher Scholarship

2023 G. Richard Fletcher 22nd Century Scholars Stipend recipients Wendy Gao (left) and Elizabeth Montoya-LaPorte (right).

The G. Richard Fletcher 22nd Century Scholars Stipend supports two rising second-, third-, or fourth-year students working an internship in the fields of environmental policy, economics, political science, political history, or foreign affairs, with a preference for students interested in Latin America and United States policy toward Latin America. The scholarship was established by University of Virginia alumnus Fred Fletcher (COL ’74) in honor of his late brother. G. Richard “Dick” Fletcher was an alumnus of the University of Virginia College of Arts and Sciences with a Bachelor of Arts in International Management, earning Phi Beta Kappa Honors. He completed a Master of Arts degree in International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and was a Fulbright Scholar, studying in Bolivia. He served in leadership capacities for financial institutions in the United States and throughout Latin America, most recently serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of Beneficial State Bank. Early in his life, he developed a strong interest in international development and political bonds between the United States and Latin America, and served on multiple boards and committees for local, national and international organizations. In honor of Fletcher, the 2023 recipients of the G. Richard Fletcher Scholarship are:

  • Wendy Gao, of Oakton, VA, is a rising fourth-year student double majoring in Political and Social Thought and Economics with a minor in English. Among other experiences, Wendy has served as a Resiliency Planning Intern with the U.S. Department of Energy, where she researched energy storage projects, and surveyed energy and hazard mitigation plans of nine states. A member of UVA’s Raven Society, she has worked as a Research Assistant and Undergraduate Teaching Fellow in UVA’s Department of Economics and the UVA Department of Statistics. This summer, Wendy will intern with Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois. Gao noted in her application that she applied to work with Sen. Duckworth, “because she has been a champion of Asian American Pacific Islander issues and communities throughout her storied career in public service, and I am passionate about AAPI advocacy and racial justice.”
  • Elizabeth Montoya-LaPorte, of Alexandria, VA, is a rising second-year student majoring in Global Sustainability and Public Policy. She has served as a Zero Waste Ambassador with the UVA Office of Sustainability to divert on-Grounds waste from landfills and as an intern with the Green Dining Babylon Hydroponic Farm, where she organized the farming schedule for two hydroponic farms. This summer, Elizabeth will intern with U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada. In her application, Elizabeth noted that her internship with Sen. Cortez Masto “will be an excellent opportunity to advance my professional goals and carer in the specific field of sustainability policy and Latino politics…as Senator Cortez Masto has been a vocal advocate for policies that support Latino communities, such as immigration reform, voting rights and economic justice.”

The Center’s 22nd Century Scholars Program was created in 2020 when many students lost their paid public sector internships as a result of the pandemic. The Center for Politics partnered with other democracy-facing units of the University of Virginia and generous private donors to offer emergency assistance to the students by replacing their lost internships with paid summer internships based at the University of Virginia with participating University organizations. The program, which proved to be both popular and rewarding for participating students, continues to help students gain hands-on work experience in politics and government, together with additional resources such as career development sessions led by the UVA Career Center and webinars and networking opportunities with policymakers, non-profit leaders, and other guests. Over the last year, again thanks to private scholarships, the program was expanded to offer stipends for students to accept public-sector internships not based at the University in local, state, and federal government.