New Promise Scholars

Tariq Carrington has had an exceptional academic career at Charlottesville High School, earning a 4.43 GPA while enrolling in rigorous Honors, AP and Dual Enrollment classes. Tariq looks ahead to a pre-med curriculum at U.Va. and a career in the medical field after college. His interest in medicine was inspired by his infant cousin, Arianna, who was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia. His high school guidance counselor describes Tariq as, “one of the most focused students I have ever taught.” Tariq is a leader and award-winner on the CHS Track Team and has many friends.


Kunga Deyang‘s goal for the future is to become a nurse. Kunga’s parents lived in Tibet, relocated to India (where Kunga was born), and then came to America because they wanted a brighter future for their daughter. When Kunga graduates from CHS, she will have earned a GPA over 4.0 and taken multiple Honors, AP and DE classes. During her time in high school, Kunga has participated in the Girls Soccer, International and Chinese clubs, and has worked part-time at a local restaurant to help out her family. One of her teachers describes Kunga as, “someone I will never forget, sincere, strong and organized.”


Grace Gilbert intends to pursue studies in the sciences at the College of William and Mary.  Her interest in science has grown ever since she attended summer camp as a preteen. Grace also has a passion for photography. She continues to increase her skills in this area by taking courses at CHS and developing individual projects to challenge herself and sharpen her skills. Grace will graduate with a GPA over 4.7, and her high school transcript is exceptional in terms of grades and rigor of coursework. Grace is active in various clubs at CHS and participates in Concert Choir and as a volunteer at the Virginia Discovery Museum.

Valeria Gutierrez-Cruz plans to study physical therapy and ultrasound in college. Valeria’s mother emigrated from Mexico to give her children a better life, leaving behind a beloved extended family. One of her teachers praises Valeria’s willingness to ask for help when she needs it to improve her performance. Valeria will graduate from CHS with a 3.3 GPA and her coursework includes Honors, AP and DE classes. She participates in AVID and Computers4Kids and has worked at a local day care center during summer break. Valeria’s references note her self-direction and work ethic as qualities that will lead to her success in college.

Justice Howard credits her mother with providing “for her whether she had the means or not.” Justice writes that she has learned to be independent and solve her own problems–qualities she thinks will help her find her way at U.Va. Justice is taking all of her senior year classes as a Dual Enrollment student, and will graduate from CHS with a 4.6 GPA. Justice has an interest in psychology.



Lakiera Mills credits her grandmother with teaching her to “take school seriously and do well.” She plans to pursue studies in biology and chemistry at VCU, and will be the first person in her family to attend college. Beyond attending and graduating from college, Lakiera wants “to find out who I am as an educated person and someone who thinks critically and independently.” She will graduate from CHS with a 3.5 GPA. According to one of her high school teachers, Lakiera’s success in college will likely be due, in part, to her positivity and time management skills and her willingness to work on something until it is her best.

Wendell Santiago has worked hard to balance a busy and demanding schedule at CHS with significant family responsibilities.  He is well-liked by teachers and peers, and is involved in a number of activities.  Wendell plans to study nursing and physical therapy at PVCC. He will graduate with a 4.0 GPA, receiving A’s and B’s in his classes, which have included AP, Honors, and DE courses.