PHOTO COURTESY OF ELIZABETH SETON HIGH SCHOOL
Jewel Washington
PHOTO COURTESY OF ELIZABETH SETON HIGH SCHOOL Jewel Washington
Jewel Washington, who graduates this year from Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, has been awarded a full four-year scholarship to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.  There, she will major in chemistry and pre-med. Her eventual goal is to become a neurologist.

She is the recipient of that university’s prestigious Lewis and Elizabeth Dowdy merit scholarship that provides four years of tuition and related fees, room and board at the Greensboro school. Among the requirements of the scholarships, students must have a minimum 3.75 cumulative grade point average and score at least 1200 on their SAT exams.

The award is part of the more than $450,000 in scholarship offers she received from such outstanding universities as Florida A&M, Howard, Hampton and Xavier.

She said it was important for her to choose a historically black college or university, because “it will provide a certain foundation of my future that I want.”

The daughter of Armalia and Gene Washington of Bowie, Jewel came to Seton after attending public elementary and middle schools. She said that her first impression of Seton is that it was “challenging and fast paced. I knew I would have to buckle down.”

As student scholar all four year of her high school years, Jewel has taken advanced placement and honors classes in every subject, thus earning a 4.48 grade point average.

She participated in Seton’s unique pre-pharmacy program and sat for her pharmacy exam earlier this month, enabling her qualify as a state licensed pharmacology technician.

Seton’s pre-pharmacy program provides students with basic knowledge and practices in pharmacology, and hands-on experience working in pharmacy labs. Students who complete the course, the state-approved final exam, and 160 hours of work in community-based and hospital-based pharmacies may apply for Maryland state certification as a pharmacy technician.

“This was a nice leeway into the health industry,” Jewel said. “It also helped me narrow down what kind of doctor I wanted to be.”

While she excelled in her math and science courses, Jewel said, “this might come as a surprise” that one of her favorite classes was AP world history. “It included the history of science and the history of cultures, and it seemed to wrap everything up together.”

Outside of the classroom, Jewel was a member of the National Honor Society; vice president of the student government association; a member the varsity dance team; president of the Onyx Club, a black student union that is open to students of all races; and a member of the Ambassadors Club in which students act as representatives of the school, visiting middle schools, assisting with school functions and hosting visiting students and their parents.

She also was a participant at an academic symposium at The Catholic University of America where she offered a one-hour presentation on the problems of human trafficking.

Jewel is also an accomplished concert pianist.

Hailed by her guidance counselor as “a faith-filled and service-oriented person,” Jewel was active in feeding the homeless and needy through the So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.) program, tutoring fellow students and younger children and working with the elderly.

Her younger sister, Jada, will enter Seton in the fall. Her advice to her sister would be “jump in head first, keep an open mind and try everything.” She also has an older sister and an older brother.

Jewel said that as she looks back on her time at Seton, she realized the school “helped me find my identity and made me feel more secure.”

“Seton has helped me to branch out and try new things,” she said. “It solidified who I thought I would be.”

Graduating from the school, she said, “will be bittersweet as I leave my friends and the environment that I know. But I feel really good because I am ready to see what God has in store for me.”