Press Release

Seven Outstanding Horatio Alger Association Scholars Awarded Dennis Washington Leadership Scholarships

May 1, 2018

McKenna Young
484-385-2913 (office)

Seven Outstanding Horatio Alger Association Scholars Awarded Dennis Washington Leadership Scholarships
The Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation in conjunction with the Horatio Alger Association provides scholarships of up to $120,000 to Horatio Alger Alumni Scholars who wish to pursue masters or doctoral degrees in business, engineering, medicine, applied sciences or education

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 1, 2018)Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of remarkable individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced the seven recipients of the 2018 Dennis Washington Leadership Scholarship. Endowed in 2008 and funded by the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation in partnership with the Horatio Alger Association, the scholarship provides financial assistance to Horatio Alger Alumni Scholars who aspire to obtain graduate or doctoral degrees. Since 2008, the program has awarded approximately $5 million in scholarships. In 2018, the seven recipients will be eligible to receive up to $120,000 each.

The Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation was established in 1988 by Dennis Washington, chairman emeritus of Horatio Alger Association, and his wife, Phyllis. Since that time, the Foundation has donated more than a quarter of a billion dollars to charitable causes. The Foundation, which supports deserving individuals in an effort to better society as a whole, established its Leadership Scholarship program to provide financial assistance exclusively to Horatio Alger undergraduate scholarship recipients who are committed to obtaining a graduate degree. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and have exemplified leadership, integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity. They should also exhibit a passion for entrepreneurship and a commitment to community service.


“Dennis and I believe that access to education is the change agent to an individual’s future successes,” said Phyllis Washington, co-founder, the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation and chair of the selection committee for this scholarship. “We are thrilled to again partner with the Horatio Alger Association to provide these deserving Scholars – who have overcome such difficult adversities – the opportunity to further their educational pursuits. By supporting these outstanding students today, we give them the tools and resources they need to become the next great leaders of tomorrow.”

The following Horatio Alger Alumni Scholars will receive up to $120,000 each in their pursuit of a master’s, doctoral or professional degree:

  • Elise Byle, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine, 2014 Montana Scholar
  • Erica Harp, University of Florida, Master of Science–Aerospace Engineering, 2014 Honeywell Scholar
  • Natasha Hongsermeier, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health, 2012 AKSARBEN Scholar
  • Justin Lindsey, University of West Georgia, Doctor of Education, 2009 Georgia Scholar
  • Jeronimo Maradiaga, to be confirmed, Doctor of Medicine, 2003 National Scholar
  • Manuel Retana, Stanford University, Doctor of Philosophy–Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering, 2013 Nevada Scholar
  • Zachary Zins, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine, 2011 National Scholar

Horatio Alger Association was founded in 1947, and since 1984, it has administered one of the nation’s largest privately-funded, need-based scholarship programs. The Association has awarded more than $143 million in undergraduate, graduate and specialized scholarships to students from across the United States (including all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) and Canada.

For more information about Horatio Alger Association, please visit or follow the organization on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity in pursuit of their dreams through higher education. Through the generosity of its Members and friends, in 2017, the Association awarded more than $18 million in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships across the United States and Canada, and also provided college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $143 million in college scholarships to more than 25,000 deserving young people. For more information, please visit

About Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation:
Founded in 1988, the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is the major philanthropic organization for The Washington Companies and the Washington family. Funding for the Foundation comes primarily from personal contributions from the Washington Family and profits of The Washington Companies. The Foundation focuses in the areas of education, arts and culture, health and human services, and community service. Since its inception, Foundation giving and the Washington family’s personal contributions and pledges to charitable causes total over a quarter of a billion dollars. The Foundation website is located at


Our Members

Horatio Alger Members are part of a select group of individuals who have experienced a wide spectrum of what life can offer. Similar to characters in stories by Horatio Alger, Jr., they traditionally have started life in “humble” or economically challenging circumstances.

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Our Scholarship Programs

The Association administers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarship programs.

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