University of Maryland Extension

2016 Scholarship Winners

Charles County Master Gardeners Announce Recipients

for First Annual Scholarship

Charles County Master Gardeners are pleased to announce two recipients for the first annual Charles County Master Gardener Scholarship program.  These individual $1,000.00 scholarships will help students continue their university studies that relate to the Master Gardener mission, including, but not limited to: animal and avian sciences, marine science, plant science, earth and physical sciences, etc.  Both scholarship recipients graduated from Charles County Public Schools, completed demanding academic courses, and served in volunteer programs that provided backgrounds for their future studies and careers.  Each student’s application included a detailed resume, an essay about her academic accomplishments and goals, letters of recommendation, and an official transcript of grades.  

Ingrid Braun, a graduate of Maurice J. McDonough High School, exceled in academic programs, which included many AP and Honors classes.  Even with challenging coursework, she maintained a GPA well above the required 3.0.  Also, she completed classes at the College of Southern Maryland as part of her high school curriculum.  A well-rounded student, she volunteered with the school theatre program, Minds in Motion, and McDonough Show Choir Crew. She earned Varsity Letters for participating in Lacrosse and Indoor Track.  In addition to her rigorous scholastic program and extra-curricular activities, she served as the school Environthon Team Leader and as president of the Pomfret Bass Anglers Club. As president, she organized the club’s participation in the 2016 Potomac River Cleanup. The McDonough High School Science Department Chair wrote in a letter of recommendation that this student “has an exceptional work ethic.”  She “is dependable and trustworthy,” and “she has a love of the outdoors that is refreshing to see.”  Ms. Braun plans to continue her studies as a double major in Biology and Wildlife and Fisheries Management at Frostburg State University.     


Leah Pennington, a graduate of North Point High School, surpassed a 3.0 GPA, in programs that included many AP classes.  Enrolled in the Academy of Health Professions, she was certified in CPR, First Aid, and as a Certified Nursing Assistant.  She was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society in 2014 and the Science National Honor Society in 2015.  As an athlete, she has played on the school Varsity Lacrosse and Varsity Field Hockey teams, and played soccer for five years with the SMYO fall and spring teams.  Her interests in science and health merged when she became a Student Athletic Trainer in 2014 so she could treat injured athletes.  In Maryland SkillsUSA competitions, Leah and her team of two other students won a gold medal for community service.  The team represented Maryland at the National Leadership Competition. One of her teachers in the Academy of Health Professions program wrote that local “veterinarians eagerly anticipate working with her” during her veterinary clinical rotation.  Ms. Pennington plans to continue her studies in Animal Science at North Carolina State University. Eventually, she would like to achieve her goal of becoming a veterinarian and open her own private practice. 


The Maryland Master Gardener Program is a volunteer educational organization of the University of Maryland Extension (UME). Master Gardeners and UME staff educate the public to create sustainable landscapes and to protect the area’s natural resources. According to the UMD website, Master Gardener program “…puts research-based knowledge and environmental power into the hands of people who want to create sustainable gardens and landscapes, and protect and improve natural resources. Master Gardeners are citizens from all walks of life who combine their love of plants, people, and the environment to help residents solve problems and make environmentally-sound decisions on public and private properties.”   


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