Scholarship Success Stories

Education is priceless, and our donors have supported the educational goals and dreams of thousands of students in Frederick County. Read these inspiring stories of success.

Alejandra Diaz

With the help of a scholarship she received from the Community Foundation, Alejandra was able to focus on pursuing her educational goals instead of worrying about her financial situation. She is a 2013 graduate of Middletown High School and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) with a focus on cybersecurity. Alejandra currently works as a cybersecurity analyst and cyber software engineer in Northrop Grumman’s Cybersecurity Operations Center, where she monitors the Northrop Grumman network and ensures that its employees and users remain safe from both inside and outside cyber threats. As a side opportunity, Alejandra also works as an adjunct professor in UMBC’s Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Department. Her career goals include earning more certifications in cybersecurity to enhance her skills and possibly going back to school to pursue a Ph.D. Alejandra’s success was helped with a scholarship from The Rotary Club of Frederick/W. Meredith S. Young and Helen B. Young Scholarship Fund.

Allen Etzler

Allen graduated from Walkersville High School in 2009. He initially attended Alderson-Broaddus University and transferred to Frederick Community College and later University of Maryland, where he graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Scholarships from The Rollins J. and Mary Marceline Atkinson Scholarship Fund and The Kevin R. and Sara J. Wade Scholarship Fund helped Allen achieve his educational goal of earning a journalism degree and ultimately coming back to his hometown to work at the local newspaper. Allen worked as a reporter and editor at The Frederick News-Post for five years and now serves as the public information and community outreach coordinator for the City of Frederick. In this position, he works closely with the Frederick Police Department to provide outreach and communicate with the public daily. He also oversees the City of Frederick’s Neighborhood Advisory Council program. Allen tries to be of value to each person he meets and tries to make sure each person he interacts with has a positive experience. He is grateful for all the support he received to be able to work in his hometown and contribute to the local community.


Diego Camargo

Thanks to scholarships he received from the Community Foundation, Diego was able to focus on school and not stress about how he was going to pay for college. This resulted in him landing a job shortly after graduation, and he does not know how he would have been able to complete and afford his degree without the scholarship support. Diego is a 2013 graduate of Governor Thomas Johnson High School and earned his associate’s degree in digital media design from Frederick Community College. He currently works as a graphic designer/web developer for DatAchieve Digital, a digital marketing agency. His responsibilities include creating and designing logos, developing branding concepts for clients, website design, website development, and website support. For his future plans, Diego would like to grow his design skills and to work for a larger agency that represents corporate clients. He eventually would like to be an art or creative director. Diego’s educational goals were supported with scholarships from The Barry D. Richardson Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Visual Arts, The Henry E. Droneburg, III Memorial Scholarship Fund, and The William A. Simmons Scholarship Fund.  

Caylee Winpigler

Caylee was able to attend her dream school and pursue her passions thanks to scholarships she received from the Community Foundation. She graduated in 2017 from Walkersville High School and later graduated summa cum laude from Hood College with a bachelor’s degree in history and global studies from Hood’s Honors Program. Caylee served as the first Hood College student board member for Ausherman Family Foundation where she gained valuable skills and experience and developed an interest and passion in the foundation’s mission. Upon graduating from Hood, Caylee landed a job as an administrative assistant at Ausherman Family Foundation where she wears a variety of hats, everything from managing the foundation’s social media accounts to coordinating events and meetings. Caylee is pursuing her master’s degree in international relations from American University. Her goal is to one day work for an international nonprofit, foundation, or government organization and is also interested in pursuing a doctorate in history. Caylee received scholarships from The Engelbrecht-DeGrange Scholarship Fund, The W. Meredith S. Young and Helen B. Young Scholarship Fund, and The Kevin R. and Sara J. Wade Scholarship Fund to help support her educational goals.

Julia Becker

With scholarship support that she received from the Community Foundation, Julia was able to pursue her goal of becoming an educator. Julia graduated from Governor Thomas Johnson High School in 2006 and earned her bachelor’s degree in theater, film, and media studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She later received her M.A.T. in early childhood and elementary education in 2011. Julia said having the pressure relieved from the financial requirements of college meant she could focus on her studies, extracurricular activities, and volunteering. Thanks to her scholarships, she was able to attend her college of choice and was prepared to take on expenses like textbooks and technology requirements. Julia is currently an elementary school teacher for Frederick County Public Schools and hopes for a long teaching career. Julia’s success was helped with scholarships from The Lisa A. Orndorff Lajewski Memorial Scholarship Fund, The Mary E.M. and Ruth E. Smith Scholarship Fund, The Mary Ann Moschel Memorial Scholarship Fund, and The Eleanor Harper Music Scholarship Fund.   

Christian Ntienou

After graduating from Governor Thomas Johnson High School in 2013, Christian began his post-secondary education at Frederick Community College with a focus on accounting and business. As he progressed, he “discovered” engineering and has since combined his inclination towards numbers and business by earning a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from University of Maryland, College Park. He is now a quality test engineer for Lockheed Martin where he analyzes and identifies causes for program malfunctions. Christian is studying for his professional engineer certification and deciding what area of engineering he would like to pursue with a master’s degree. Christian’s educational goals were supported with a scholarship from The M. Rebecca Linton Scholarship Fund.



Thanks to the scholarships from the Community Foundation, I was able to focus on school and not stress about finances.

Diego Camargo

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