Category: Scholarship

Butler Winners

James and Nellie Butler 2020 Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to the four students honored with the James and Nellie Butler Scholarship Award this May! This award is given to one student in each of the four Albemarle high schools, demonstrating academic excellence, need, and – especially – commitment to serving the greater good. Each of these students will receive $1,000 towards their educational expenses.


Gabriela Arvizu graduated from Murray High School and will begin studying at The Cleveland Institute of Art this fall. Gaby helped run the Mock Elections at Murray, and was a leader in Community Meetings. She worked to build doghouses for the SPCA, and volunteered her face-painting skills at Community Day in Washington Park. She was described by one of her teachers as “a passionate, thoughtful, and engaging young person.”







Maryam Alwan graduated from Albemarle High School, and will be part of a dual degree program at Columbia University and at Sciences PO – The Paris Institute of Political Studies – this fall. Maryam attained many academic and leadership awards, including AP Scholar with Distinction and National Honor Society. Maryam worked with Special Olympics, Amnesty International, and Model UN, and she tutors immigrants in English. Also, Maryam is a Brown Belt in Martial Arts.







William Ancona graduated from Monticello High School and will be studying at UVA this fall. Will was part of the Health Academy at Monticello, and also very active in Monticello’s drama department as Captain of the Virginia State Champion Improvisational Team, and as part of a group that wrote and directed one-act plays at Monticello. Will served as an Intern in UVA’s health system. He’s volunteered at The Lodge at Old Trail, and was part of a Peacebuilder program. Will wants to fight for healthcare for all.








Chloe Kienzle graduated from Western Albemarle High School and will start at UVA this fall. Chloe has already done lots of work in local politics – organizing Postcards for Progress with at least 20 volunteers, organizing meet-and-greets, and working on election days. She a SOCA coach, and a UVA Medical Center volunteer. Chloe was on the Model UN team at WAHS and was the President of Key Club. Chloe plans to study and work in the field of Human Rights.






All four of these students exemplify the spirit and dedication to education, engagement, and service to a larger community of James and Nellie Butler. While on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors, James Butler championed fair and equitable teacher salaries, and helped to establish the Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center – CATEC. Nellie Butler was a technical education teacher, and worked with her husband in several community efforts, including voter registration. Nellie served as a Girl Scout leader and a 4-H advisor for many years.

Scholarship Recipients

James and Nellie Butler Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to the four students honored with the James and Nellie Butler Scholarship Award this May! This award is given to one student in each of the four Albemarle high schools, demonstrating academic excellence, need, and – especially – commitment to serving the greater good. Each of these students will receive  $1,000 towards their educational expenses.

Rajaah Alagib graduated from Albemarle High School and will enter UVA in the fall. She served on the Principal’s Advisory Council, worked with the Tom Tom Youth Summit, won many awards in Forensics, and worked with Leadership Albemarle to understand the economic foundations of Charlottesville in order to promote high level occupations in our community.  She moved here as a young child from Sudan, and wants to use her perspective to Pursue development in economic and educational policy, helping to give voice to those who have not yet found their voices.

Henry Chin, a graduate of Monticello High School, will also study at UVA this fall. Henry has been involved with science projects, educational projects for young children, and conservation projects. He’s worked to maintain beehives at Monticello, build bat houses, create Bilingual Children’s theater for elementary school students. He wrote a curriculum for young children to prepare them to be environmental stewards, and he presented at the Tom Tom festival on the important role of insects in the ecosystem. Henry will study science at UVA, and wants to teach young children.

Lilliana  “Lilli” Shelton graduated from Murray High School, where she is one of five Peer Mediators. This past year she also took classes at PVCC, and will enroll full time in the fall before moving on to get a four-year degree, where she plans to study Natural Resource Preservation. Lilli has worked with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation  in fundraisers and education days. She wants to use her interest in science to promote sustainable practices, for businesses and consumers.

Reagan Burton served as Western Albemarle High School’s Executive Council President for the last two years.  She’s gotten Silver and Bronze awards through Girl Scouts  Feeding the Hungry projects. Through her work she did on a Mission trip to Kenya, she has decided to study medicine to help needy communities throughout the world. This fall she will begin those studies at UVA.

In his response to winning the Butler Scholarship, Henry Chin wrote, “I am incredibly honored and grateful to have been chosen as Monticello High School’s James and Nellie Butler Scholarship recipient. Reading about the Butlers, I was very moved by their generosity and all that they did to support education, civic engagement, and the community. They are true role models, and I am grateful to you for carrying on their legacy. I am inspired by the values promoted by your scholarship program, and it means so much to me to have been identified as an individual that can help to bring about the positive change championed by the Butlers and the Albemarle County Democrats.”

Albemarle Students Win James and Nellie Butler Scholarships

Three area high school seniors received the James and Nellie Butler Scholarships on Awards Night at their respective schools. Sponsored by the Albemarle County Democratic Party, this award is given in memory of the Butlers and to honor their dedication to community service and public education. James Butler was the first African American elected to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. He was a strong advocate for quality education in our schools, and helped establish CATEC. Nellie Butler taught technical education, was a leader in 4-H and Girl Scouts, and like her husband, worked diligently to promote voter registration and civic engagement. This $1,000 scholarship is awarded to students based on academic excellence, financial need, and a commitment to service to community.

At Albemarle High School, the Butler Scholarship went to Hannah Woodward. Hannah will enter the University of Virginia in the fall with plans to study physics. She was part of the MESA program at Albemarle. Hannah volunteered through the AHS Key Club and National Honor Society, and the Appalachian Service Project, and aspires to connect scientific research and public policy.

Mason Ancona received the Butler Scholarship at Western Albemarle High School. Mason has mentored younger students on the importance of the environment that sustains and enriches our lives. He wants to study engineering or architecture to develop buildings with smaller environmental footprints. He will enter Virginia Tech this fall.

The Monticello High School student awarded the Butler Scholarship is Lucas Johnson. Lucas will study Public Policy at Bowdoin College this fall. The co-founder of the student-staffed Albemarle County Mental Health Policy Council and the also the founder of a local non-profit focused on global health issues, Lucas also served as the Virginia Political Director of the High School Democrats of America.

The James and Nellie Butler Scholarship is awarded annually. High School seniors are encouraged to apply after January through the Albemarle County Democratic Party website: