The 2022 Recipient
Entrepreneur and Non-Profit Founder Wins UVA’s Prestigious Sky Alland Scholarship
Charlottesville, VA — Engineering student Emily Buerk won the University of Virginia’s prestigious Sky Alland Scholarship.
The award, which covers the next academic year’s full tuition and fees, recognizes a rising fourth-year (UVA parlance for a rising college senior) who demonstrates leadership, achievement, enterprising spirit, humility and devotion to the University.
Buerk, from Park Ridge, Illinois, is the second School of Engineering recipient in the scholarship’s 27-year history. She is majoring in Computer Science, with a minor in Systems Engineering and is a Rodman Scholar, an honors program recognizing the top 5% of each engineering class. She has married her skills and interests to make significant contributions to bettering the Charlottesville community with impressive results.
Buerk’s passions for coding and philanthropy led her to grow the local chapter of Girls Who Code and raise over $40,000 in corporate sponsorships from 20 major corporations. These funds support 250 participants annually in two 48-hour coding events which Buerk originated, and for which $20,000 in prizes are awarded.
Buerk also applied her computer science skills and passion for helping others to found a non-profit organization, Envision Empowerment Inc., dedicated to empowering people in poverty by linking them to available resources based on eligibility.
The merit-based Sky Alland Scholarship is one of UVA’s most competitive undergraduate scholarships. Annually six finalists are chosen from nominees spanning the University’s undergraduate schools. The scholarship’s selection committee, which consists of UVA alumni, several of whom are also past Sky Alland scholarship recipients, then chose Buerk.
“Emily has amply demonstrated enterprising spirit and leadership with outstanding results,” said Ruth Haile, chair of the Sky Alland Scholarship Endowment. “We are delighted that she is the 2022-2023 Sky Alland Scholar.”
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“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”