AWI Scholarship Winners Display Ambition, Ingenuity in Protecting Animals

A teenager looks at her laptop while petting a cat.
Photo by Shutterstock

Washington, DC—The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) announced today the 12 winners of a scholarship designed to support high school seniors who are planning to use their post-secondary education to better the lives of animals.

The Animal Welfare Institute Scholarship program, now in its fifth year, recognizes students in the United States who are actively involved in helping animals in their schools or communities and plan to continue working on behalf of animals in college and beyond. A dozen winners, selected from more than 750 applicants, will each receive $3,000 to use toward post-secondary education expenses.

“From campaigning to close a petting zoo accused of neglecting animals to rescuing calves from dangerously cold temperatures, this year’s winners demonstrated initiative and energy to prevent animal suffering,” said Susan Millward, AWI’s executive director and chief executive officer. “AWI is proud to invest in these future leaders as they continue their studies and build on their accomplishments to improve the lives of animals.”

Applicants have raised money to provide medical care for companion animals in need, educated their communities on the vital ecological role of insects, designed animal enrichment activities at a local nature center, and completed a rigorous humane education program sponsored by animal sanctuaries. They include future pre-vet majors, wildlife policy experts, endangered species advocates, animal rescuers, and more.

The 2024 Animal Welfare Institute Scholarship winners are:

Luke Andersen, Nevada High School, Missouri; Robert Berlage, Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, Illinois; Emily Comar, School Without Walls High School, Washington, DC; Katherine Fourtner, Parkway South High School, Missouri; Siraj Gandhi, Monroe Township High School, New Jersey; Rylan Garrett, Monticello High School, Virginia; Julia Jackson, Ignite! Online Academy, North Carolina; Cathrine Lamprecht, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School, Florida; Claire Lignore, Cleveland High School, Oregon; Claudia Metge, J.L. Mann High School, South Carolina; Rebecca Rhodes, Shorecrest High School, Washington; and Janelly Villalobos, CSA New Tech High School, Indiana.       

In addition to the scholarship program, AWI, in partnership with the Humane Education Network, holds an annual “A Voice for Animals” competition. High school students from all over the world are awarded cash prizes for essays, photo essays, or videos that examine animal suffering and present viable solutions. The deadline for applications this year is May 31.

Media Contact Information

Marjorie Fishman, Animal Welfare Institute
(202) 446-2128, [email protected]

The Animal Welfare Institute is a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere: in agriculture, in commerce, in our communities, in research, and in the wild. Follow us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram for updates and other important animal protection news.