15th class of Levine Scholars to join UNC Charlotte

Categories: General News Tags: Academic Affairs

UNC Charlotte’s Levine Scholars Program has selected 20 exceptional young leaders from across the United States for the 15th class of the University’s most competitive academic scholarship. The scholars will join UNC Charlotte in fall 2024.

The University’s premier merit-based scholarship is valued at approximately $115,000 per North Carolina student and $172,000 for each out-of-state student. The award covers full tuition, housing, meals, mandatory fees and provides a stipend for books and summer experiences. Scholars also receive additional funding to support civic engagement opportunities and professional development.

“We are pleased to welcome the newest class of Levine Scholars to Niner Nation,” said Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber. “With alumni having a lasting impact around the region and around the world, our Levine Scholars are shining examples of what makes UNC Charlotte such an amazing place to be. We are expecting great things from the Levine Class of 2028 in the future.”

Levine Scholars are selected through a rigorous nomination and interview process including an in-person finalist program where invited students and their families tour campus and meet current scholars, program staff, alumni and members of the faculty and University leadership. The Levine Scholars Program prioritizes academic excellence and curiosity, ethical leadership and a demonstrated record of community service. More than 2,400 scholarship nominations were submitted and nearly 1,100 applications. Selected scholars come from eight states and 10 North Carolina counties.

“The individual and collective academic achievements, leadership and community contributions of these extraordinary high school seniors are impressive,” said Heather Smith, faculty director of the Levine Scholars Program. “Their commitment to civic engagements will honor the powerful legacy of our benefactors, Leon and Sandra Levine.”

The Class of 2028 Levine Scholars from North Carolina are:

Naami Abbey, Gastonia, Forestview High School; Alyssa Bissonnette, Harrisburg, Cabarrus-Kannapolis Early College High School; Yazi Bulluck, Wilson, Greenfield School; Sabrina Coffaro, Clayton, Clayton High School; Kean Dao, Winterville, D H Conley High School; Frida Guerrero Ochoa, Charlotte, Phillip O Berry Academy of Technology; Benny Heath, Taylorsville, Alexander Central High School; Nika Parui, Matthews, Weddington High School; Irene Quinones-Olmeda, Raleigh, Wakefield High School; Shreyas Raychaudhuri, Apex, Raleigh Charter High School; Andrew Simmons, Huntersville, Lake Norman Charter School; Rokia Sissoko, Pittsboro, Northwood High School; and Michelle Song, Greenville, D H Conley High School.

Out-of-state recipients are:

Rachel Alexander, Alpharetta, Georgia, Chattahoochee High School; Aria Cornwall, Olympia, Washington, Capital High School; Maya Kamen, Plano, Texas, Shelton School; Emree Lamb, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Cheyenne Mountain High School; Mara McPhail, Chandler, Arizona, Hamilton High School; Rishita Rokariya, Tampa, Florida, Strawberry Crest High School; and Evelyn Wagner, Reston, Virginia, South Lakes High School.

Established in 2009 through a $9.3 million gift from the late Leon Levine and his wife, 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 founded Family Dollar Stores Inc., retiring as chairman and CEO in 2003. The Levine family is involved in several civic and charitable causes in the Charlotte region and throughout the Carolinas through The Leon Levine Foundation.

“The Levine Scholars program with its emphasis on leadership development and community engagement continues to make an impact at the University, in our community and beyond,” said Tom Lawrence, president 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.”