Blythewood native awarded $25k scholarship

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The 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, announced Blythewood native Zhanaya Casteal as one of the recipients of its prestigious 2024 Horatio Alger National Scholarship.

Casteal, who attends the Governor’s School for Science and Math, was awarded $25,000 college scholarship. The Horatio Alger Association is a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of young people with demonstrated financial need who are facing significant personal adversity yet remain dedicated to pursuing higher education.

The Horatio Alger Association was established in 1947 to encourage young people to pursue their version of the American Dream. Since the establishment of its scholarship programs in 1984, the Horatio Alger Association has become one of the largest privately funded, need-based scholarship providers in the United States and Canada. Today, through its Members, the Association continues educating students about the economic and personal opportunities afforded them through the two nations’ free-enterprise systems. By the 40th anniversary of the Association’s scholarship program in 2024, more than $247 million will be awarded in undergraduate, graduate, military veteran and career and technical education scholarships to more than 37,000 deserving students.

The Association uplifts students like Casteal by providing them with financial resources and programming to support their academic careers, including: financial aid counseling; college selection advising; 24/7 mental health support available via phone and online; and online college success seminars discussing financial literacy and budgeting, time management, health and wellness and more.

“We remain dedicated to supporting deserving young people in pursuit of their dreams. Recently, it has become increasingly evident that we need to meet them where they are,” says James F. Dicke II, chairman of the Association and 2015 Horatio Alger Award recipient.

“There are many determinants inhibiting students from pursuing higher education. In addition to the financial obstacles, we know that to best position them for success, we must care for the whole Scholar. The mental, physical and well-being of Horatio Alger Scholars are just as important as decreasing financial burdens. We’re proud to not only provide financial aid, but valuable services in these areas, as well.”

The 2024 Horatio Alger National Scholars come from households with an average income of $24,323 per year while maintaining an average weighted GPA of 4.0. Each National Scholarship recipient is awarded $25,000 to apply toward educational costs of the college or university of their choice.

For more information about Horatio Alger Association, visit

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