In Like a Lion, Out Like a Seahawk

Monday, March 28, 2022

D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy, a K-8 year-round public school, will celebrate its fifth anniversary in 2023 – the same year its first class of eighth graders graduate from high school. UNCW, which operates the lab school in partnership with New Hanover County Schools, has launched a new program to help these former Lions become Seahawks.

Beginning fall 2023, UNCW has committed to ten $7,500 renewable scholarships (covering in-state tuition and fees for up to four years) for D.C. Virgo alumni who attend UNCW. Provost James J. Winebrake approved the new partnership.

Virgo principal Sabrina Hill-Black said the initiative illustrates a true commitment to the students and the outcomes of a true partnership. “While we prepare our students for post-middle school, we also remind them of the importance of post-high school plans,” she said. “A potential financial opportunity awaiting them at UNCW allows students and their families to know a continued collaborative commitment awaits them."

William L. Sterrett, associate dean for engagement, professional learning and scholarship and professor of educational leadership in the Watson College of Education, echoes appreciation of the new opportunity. “We work closely as a school and university team to build collaborative partnerships at D.C. Virgo and at UNCW, and are excited and hopeful to have Virgo alum continue their learning as Seahawks,” he said.

The first year-round K-8 public school in Wilmington, D.C. Virgo’s curriculum focuses on inquiry-based learning, community engagement and the importance of literacy. The school offers a family-engaged learning environment to support the academic, social and emotional growth of students, as well as access to university resources. Virgo serves almost 200 students at its downtown Wilmington campus.


-- Caroline Cropp