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Four Washington, DC, Students Tapped as 2014 Milken Scholars

2014 DC Milken Scholars with VIPs

The newly awarded 2014 DC Milken Scholars stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people who make the program possible at their honoree dinner on July 12, 2014.

Pictured, from left: Mike Milken, Milken Scholars Co-Founder; Emanuel (Manny) J. Friedman Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies Founder; Simone Friedman Rones, Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies Executive Director; Sinclair Blue; Stewart Gray III; Ekram Jiru; Daniel Spruill; Jane Foley, Milken Scholars Program Director; and Gregory Milken, Milken Scholars Program Director.

Click here to view a gallery of photos from this and other Milken Scholars events.

SANTA MONICA, CA (July 7, 2014) – Four outstanding high school graduates, two from District of Columbia Public Schools and two from District of Columbia Public Charter Schools, have been selected as 2014 Milken Scholars and honored at a Recognition Dinner on Saturday, July 12th. They are among a class of 24 exceptional students from New York City and Los Angeles named as 2014 Milken Scholars.

Milken Scholars are chosen based on their academic performance, community service, leadership and ability to persevere in the face of challenges. While each Scholar will receive a $10,000 scholarship, the uniqueness of this opportunity lies in the ongoing mentoring, assistance with internships, opportunities for community service, and access to a wide range of resources throughout their academic and professional careers. 

“These remarkable students have already proven they have the capacity to change the world for the better,” notes the program’s director, Gregory Milken.  “The Milken Scholars program provides them with the support to develop their potential and become tomorrow’s leaders.”

The 2014 DC Milken Scholars are:

Sinclair Blue 2014 DC Milken ScholarSinclair Blue, student council president at the School Without Walls High School, had the rare opportunity of participating on a panel with esteemed leaders in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. For her volunteer efforts in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic, she was recognized with the national Amigos de las Americas American Leadership Award. Sinclair will take a gap year to work as a teacher’s aide in the Dominican Republic before heading to Scripps College to study political science, philosophy and economics.

Stewart Gray III 2014 DC Milken ScholarStewart Gray is Thurgood Marshall Academy’s valedictorian and their first student to be accepted to an Ivy League college. He is a Gates Millennium Scholar, QuestBridge Finalist and Coca-Cola Scholars Semi-finalist. The DC Association of Chartered Public Schools recognized Stewart with the honor of Most Outstanding High School Graduate. He helped found Marshall’s robotics team and designed the school newspaper’s first website. Stewart will study electrical engineering and science at Stanford University for a career in research and development with the focus on design.

Ekram Jiru 2014 DC Milken ScholarEkram Jiru, salutatorian at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, received international recognition for co-founding Read to Succeed, a literacy program for elementary English Language Learners. Her academic achievements include AP Scholar, Overall Winner in the state STEM Physics Fair, STEM Awards in Environmental Science and Molecular Biology, the Cornell Book Award, National Mathematics Honor Society, and National Latin Exam Gold Medalist. In preparation for a career as a physician, she will study biochemistry and pre-med at Pomona College.

Daniel Spruill 2014 DC Milken ScholarDaniel Spruill, the valedictorian at Friendship Collegiate Academy Public Charter School, is an AP Scholar and QuestBridge Finalist. He was named the Most Outstanding Mathematician in 2013 by the District of Columbia Public Charter Schools and served as a student representative on the District’s Board of Education. A mid-fielder on the soccer team, which he helped found, he was honored with the Student Athlete Award. Daniel will study electrical engineering and computer science at Princeton for a career as an innovator.

Since its founding in 1989 by Lori and Michael Milken, the Milken Scholars program, a joint initiative of the Milken Institute and Milken Family Foundation, has supported more than 350 Scholars from diverse backgrounds.  Approximately one-third were born outside the United States and three-quarters have parents originating from nearly 60 countries.  In DC the program receives generous support from Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies.

"Whether teaching inner-city students or researching cures for cancer, Milken Scholars can be found at the forefront of society," said Dr. Jane Foley, senior vice president of the Milken Family Foundation and a director of the Milken Scholars.

Throughout their college careers, Milken Scholars are in regular communication with Milken Scholars staff, mentors and with one another. Every summer, Scholars participate in a three-day Summit in Los Angeles, where Scholars staff and a range of distinguished speakers provide a forum for the participants to discuss issues crucial to their personal, academic and professional success. Over the coming years, the Summit will provide opportunities for Scholars to form and renew friendships, reflect on their personal growth, and exchange ideas and aspirations.

Milken Scholars are selected in their senior year of high school through a rigorous nomination, application review and interview process.  Nominations are based on the following criteria:

  • Minimum grade point average of 3.6 (unweighted) or 90% in all academic high school subject areas
  • Minimum composite SAT I Reasoning score of 1850 with results submitted for Critical Reading, Math, and Writing, or a minimum ACT score of 28
  • Active participation in community service activities
  • A record of leadership
  • Financial or other obstacles
  • Admission to a four-year college or university prior to final selection
  • United States Citizenship or Permanent Residency

For details about the Milken Scholars program, visit

To schedule interviews, contact Jana Rausch,; (310) 570-4774