UNC Charlotte awards prestigious Levine Scholarships to 20 young leaders

Levine Scholars Class of 2025
Tuesday, May 11, 2021

UNC Charlotte’s Levine Scholars Program has selected 20 young leaders from across the United States who will be members of the 12th class of the prestigious and academically competitive scholarship program. The scholars will join the University beginning with the fall 2021 semester.

The University’s premier merit-based scholarship is valued at approximately $105,000 per North Carolina student and $155,000 for each out-of-state student. It covers full tuition, housing, meals, books, mandatory fees and summer experiences. Scholars are provided additional funding to support civic engagement opportunities and professional development.   

“The profile of the Levine Scholars Program as a premier merit scholarship continues to rise,” said Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber. “As with the program’s first 11classes, the students who join us this fall show tremendous accomplishment and potential. We are excited to welcome them as 49ers and look forward to supporting them in their undergraduate journey.”

Levine Scholars are selected through a lengthy nomination and interview process. In addition to being highly successful academically, a distinctive characteristic of a Levine Scholar is the dedication to service that students demonstrate during high school. This, along with the various ways they have shown leadership, particularly in the wake of a global pandemic, was essential to their selection.

Levine Scholars from North Carolina are: 

Omer Abdulkareem, Charlotte, Cato Middle College High School; Sonia Birla, Cary, William G. Enloe High School; D.J. Cook, Mooresville, South Iredell High School; Dhairya Desai, Apex, Green Hope High School; Rhoen Hoff, Charlotte, Cato Middle College High School; Annabeth Jones, Durham, Charles E. Jordan Senior High School; Eleanor McCutchen, Clemmons, Early College of Forsyth; Micah Ollis, Kernersville, Western Guilford High School; Keishara Smith, Aulander, Hertford County Early College High School; Sylvia Sriniwass, Huntersville, Community School of Davidson; Jamie Williford, Clayton, Cleveland High School; Caroline Wingerd, Cary, Grace Christian School - Raleigh

Out-of-state recipients are: 

Liliahna Bedolla, Reedley, California, Reedley High School; Srichandrika Changalvala, West Lafayette, Indiana, West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School; Mia Jammal, Spring, Texas, Klein Collins High School; Madison Lanai, Franklin, Tennessee, Franklin High School; Mackenzie Ridge, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mount Lebanon High School; Joseph Thompson, Kennebunk, Maine, Kennebunk High School; Kayla Walker, Crofton, Maryland, South River High School; William Wells, Folly Beach, South Carolina, James Island High School

“The Class of 2025 is an impressive group of individuals who will collectively make their mark on the scholarship program and our University,” said Diane Zablotsky, faculty director of the Levine Scholars Program. “They will study in various majors across campus with a breadth of interests and talents. We are energized by their achievements and contributions and look forward to welcoming them as Levine Scholars to UNC Charlotte.”

Established in 2009 with a $9.3 million gift from Leon and Sandra Levine through their foundation, the Levine Scholars Program was created to recruit extraordinary high school students based on scholarship, ethical leadership and civic engagement. In 2014, the Levines made an additional $13 million gift, which increased the scholarship from 15 recipients to approximately 20 each year beginning with the class of 2016. Leon Levine is the founder of Family Dollar Stores and retired as chairman and CEO in 2003. The Levines are involved in a number of civic and charitable causes in the Charlotte region and throughout the Carolinas through the Leon Levine Foundation. 

“We are impressed by the impact the Levine Scholars Program has made at the University, in our community and beyond,” said Leon Levine, chairman and CEO of The Leon Levine Foundation. “We look forward to seeing this fine group of incoming scholars expand the high traditions of leadership, innovation and community engagement set by the scholars who came before them.”