The Jaidon Joseph Smith Educational Scholarship Fund
About the Scholarships

About the Scholarships

Background:

The Jaidon Joseph Smith Educational Scholarship Fund provides resources and funding to deserving students in the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Gifted and Talented/Learning Disability (GT/LD) program, who overcame educational challenges to thrive at school and plan to attend a college or university after they graduate. These scholarships are in memory of Jaidon, who tragically died in an automobile accident on June 9, 2021 just weeks after graduating from Walter Johnson High School.

Eligibility for a 2024 Scholarship or Kickstarter Award

  • Student must be a 2024 graduating senior (Scholarship and Kickstarter Awards) in the MCPS GT/LD Program at Walter Johnson High School.
  • Student must be accepted into a two-year associate degree program or a four-year bachelor’s degree program from an accredited college or university with a fall 2023 start.
  • Student must show a dramatic improvement of proactively accessing their accommodations, displaying mastery of concepts to teachers, and achieving educational success over the time they were enrolled in the GT/LD program, regardless of the grade they were initially enrolled.
  • Student must have a letter of recommendation, with approved eligibility, from at least one staff member who worked with them closely while in the GT/LD program (case manager, teacher, co-teacher, guidance counselor, MCPS staff and/or Paraeducator). Each letter of recommendation must be filled out by the recommender using this form and uploaded to the application.

Eligibility for a 2024 Embark Award (New this year!)

  • Student must be a 2023-2024 junior in the MCPS GT/LD Program at Walter Johnson High School.
  • Student must be planning to enroll in a two-year associate degree program or applying to a four-year bachelor’s degree program from an accredited college or university with a fall 2025 start.
  • Student must show a dramatic improvement of proactively accessing their accommodations, displaying mastery of concepts to teachers, and achieving educational success over the time they were enrolled in the GT/LD program, regardless of the grade they were initially enrolled.

Note that eligibility requirements may change and the program may expand in the future, depending on the Fund receiving an independent 501(3)(c) status.

Key Dates:

  • Applications Released – January 16, 2024
  • Applications Due – March 1, 2024
  • Interviews Completed – no later than April 1, 2024
  • Selection by the Committee – No later than April 15, 2024
  • Awardees Notified – No later than April 25, 2024

 

Determinations:

All complete applications submitted by the Application Due date will be anonymously reviewed by nine members of the Scholarship Review Committee. Once reviewed, a select number of committee members will interview the top three applicants, from whom they will determine an awardee. Each virtually conducted interview (Seniors only) will be no more than 30 minutes in length. The committee must come to a majority consensus on the selected candidate.

The selected candidates will be notified privately, and then recognized at the Walter Johnson High School Annual Senior Awards Banquet, with an announcement to the community made by a member of Jaidon Smith’s family.

Awards:

Jaidon Joseph Smith Educational Scholarship Award (Seniors Only)
The annual scholarship will be awarded to the chosen recipient in the amount of $2,000 per year, for up to 4 years total (grand total of up to $8,000 per recipient) to one student annually. The recipient will need to provide proof graduation from the MCPS High School and of enrollment for the Fall 2023 into college. For the following 3 years, they will need to provide proof of continued enrollment, and maintain at least a GPA of 3.0 to obtain the scholarship for the upcoming year.

Jaidon Joseph Smith Educational Scholarship Kickstart Award (Seniors Only)
The annual scholarship will be a one time award of $500 to at least one 12th grade WJHS GT/LD student annually. The recipient will need to provide proof graduation from the MCPS High School and of enrollment for the Fall 2023 into college.

Jaidon Joseph Smith Educational Scholarship Embark Award (Juniors Only)
The annual scholarship will be a one time award of $250 to at least one 11th grade WJHS GT/LD student annually to be used towards college application fees or preparatory efforts for applying to college in the fall.

Contact us with any questions.

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