Ian Burgett Memorial Scholarship

Ian Burgett Memorial Scholarship plaque

Ian was planning to attend James Madison University and major in biology or economics, after which he intended to apply to medical school with the intention of becoming an anesthesiologist. This scholarship was established to assist a graduating senior from high school with the first year cost of their college education.

The Ian Burgett Memorial Scholarship is not based on a student’s GPA or financial situation. Rather, this scholarship is designed to recognize the student that exemplifies the qualities and characteristics that were Ian. A love of life and joy of being each and every day are a perfect description of Ian. His other characteristics, that will be considered in the scholarship selection process, are the students' volunteerism, character, generosity, kindness, sense of humor, and athleticism. Ian earned decent grades, but was not the top of his class, however he was someone who thought of others first, and was an all-around great kid that any parent would be proud to call their own.

Important Scholarship Notes


2019 Scholarship Recipient Erin O'Donnell

We are very pleased to award the 2019 scholarship to Erin O'Donnell, a graduate of Smithfield High School. Erin was active in school with the Volleyball team (player and team manager) and the Sailing team, as well as theatre productions and Art programs. Outside of school she was very involved in the community through Girl Scouts, Relay for Life, the Animal Shelter, and as a leader for change via advocacy and political activism. Some of the words used to describe Erin are: "she has a passion for life and compassion for others"; "conscientious student"; "has the ability to see things in a different perspective"; "brings good things into my life."

Erin will be attending Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

2018 Scholarship Recipient - Anna Grace Towler

With the presentation of the sixth scholarship we've had the pleasure of awarding we continue to be so impressed by the amazing high school students. It is with great pleasure that we recognize Anna Grace Towler, a graduate of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy. Anna Grace was involved with cross country, the swim team, choir and band, as well as being recognized for her leadership and scholastic achievements in school. Anna Grace will be attending The College of William and Mary.

This year we also had the pleasure of recognizing two of our previous recipients as college graduates. Congratulations JP Gaffney and Emily Leverone!! JP will be commissioned into the Air Force and Emily is off to NYC. We wish them well.

2017 Scholarship Recipient - Julia Lauren Powell

With the exception of the first year the scholarship was awarded, this was a record year for applicants - 63 applications received from 14 different high schools in the area. The selection committee had their hands full reading about all these amazing young men and women! After selecting the finalists, the decision was turned over to the four previous scholarship recipients, Ian's brother Sam and a few of Ian's closest friends to make the final decision, and everyone was very pleased with their choice.

Julia Powell of Suffolk graduated from Isle of Wight Academy where she played a number of different sports during her high school career, volunteered in her community and held a job, in addition to being an active student at IWA. Teacher and peers described her as highly motivated, self-confident, very thoughtful and kind, and someone who put others needs first. Julia is planning to work and study at TNCC before heading off to Virginia Tech to complete her college experience.

2016 Scholarship Recipient - Clayton Joseph Ippolito

2016 Scholarship Recipient - Clayton Joseph Ippolito

This was another year of truly amazing applicants and thanks to a suggestion last year, the final selection of the scholarship recipient was made by a another amazing group of young adults - the previous scholarship recipients and Ian's friends! After the selection committee narrowed the field of applicants to 6 finalists, the application packages were reviewed by JP, Emily and Whit, Ian's brother Sam, and a couple of Ian's closest friends. These individuals selected an outstanding young man as this year's recipient, and a new tradition is born!

Clayton Joseph Ippolito graduated from Smithfield High School where he was competitive on the soccer field in high school and club soccer. Although involved in the Art Club and an A/B Honors student, Clayton’s major interest and passion was outside the walls of school. As a founding member and officer of the Friends of Nike Skate Park, he participated in a long-term project with the County Parks & Rec Department that raised $250,000 to renovate the local skate/bmx park. Clayton is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fishing, kayaking, camping and golf. Clayton will be attending the University of Alabama majoring in Operational Management in the College of Commerce & Business Administration.

2015 Scholarship Recipient - Whit Riddick

2015 Scholarship Recipient - Thomas Whitfield Riddick

Instead of getting easier, it's getting more difficult to find that stellar individual out of the very talented pool of applicants. Thank you to everyone that took time to apply for the scholarship and to the selection committee who read and re-read all of the applications multiple times! We feel that we have selected a recipient for 2015 that Ian would wholeheartedly endorse.

Thomas Whitfield (Whit) Riddick graduated from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in Suffolk where he was an accomplished swimmer and lacrosse player. He was also active in many clubs at school and volunteered at the YMCA. What stood out about Whit is his love of family, friends and sports, much like Ian. Whit is likeable, courteous, polite, a quiet leader, honorable yet humble--a true gentleman, also much like Ian. Whit is heading to Ole Miss and will be studying business and enjoying SEC football and tailgating in the Grove.

2014 Scholarship Recipient - Emily Leverone

2014 Scholarship Recipient - Emily Leverone

It is always so exciting to receive the scholarship applications and begin the process of learning about the amazing applicants and all they have accomplished during their high school years. Much time and thought went into reading each applicant's complete package - trying to find another stellar recipient for this year's scholarship. After many hours of reading and discussion about the candidates, the committee selected an awesome recipient for 2014.

Emily Marie Leverone graduated from Nansemond River High School in Suffolk where she was an accomplished soccer player for her school as well as the Olympic Development Program and various elite travel soccer clubs. She also participated in Cross Country, and was active in many clubs and civic organizations throughout her life. Her passion was her involvement with the YoungLife Club in Suffolk. Emily had the opportunity to travel and participate in medical mission trips to Togo Africa and Georgia, and was involved in various volunteer work in her community. Emily will be continuing her education at Virginia Tech with plans to become a doctor.

2013 Scholarship Recipient - JP Gaffney II

Ian Burgett Memorial Scholarship winner John Patrick  Gaffney II and the Burgett family

The first Ian Burgett Memorial Scholarship was awarded the summer of 2013. A total of 67 applications were received for this first annual scholarship. Each of the applicants had accomplished so many amazing things during their time in school, and wrote such moving essays, the selection process was very difficult. The scholarship committee read each application, recommendation and essay a number of times, but there was one applicant that continued to stand out above the rest. He truly exemplified the qualities that we were looking for, and when we met him, it was immediately apparent that we had made the correct choice. He and Ian had so much in common and I'm sure, had they had the chance to meet, they would have become good friends.

John Patrick (JP) Gaffney II graduated from Hampton Roads Academy. He participated in swimming, soccer, football, and baseball during his high school years, and was an active leader at HRA. JP volunteered his time for many different organizations and was interested in music and art. During the summer he worked as a lifeguard at Ft. Monroe. JP will be attending James Madison University.

Ian Burgett Memorial Scholarship winner John Patrick Gaffney II and the Burgett family

Ian Burgett Healthcare Heroes Scholarship Recipients




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