The Ridley Program selects six for full merit scholarships


Tanise Cole of Norfolk, Ridley Reid Scholarship recipient, captain of the Matthew F. Maury High School varsity football team, where she graduated from the Maury Medical and Health Specialties Program, was a member of the National Honor Society, participated in the Model United Nations club and was elected vice-president of the sophomore class. Committed to helping the underserved in her community, she plans to specialize in nursing, with the goal of earning a master’s degree and becoming a nurse practitioner in obstetrics/gynecology.

Madison DeLoach of Richmond is a National Honor Society graduate of Hermitage High School, where she was a varsity cheerleader and completed Virginia Commonwealth University’s Dental Scholars program. She is also a member of the Henrico Chapter of Diversify Our Narrative, which focuses on providing diverse authors and subjects in the English curriculum. A recipient of the Richmond Ridley Clarence Cain Scholarship, she plans to major in biology on a pre-dental track in hopes of becoming a prosthodontist, pediatric dentist or oral surgeon with a focus on ethical, moral and social issues in the healthcare system.

V Godfrey de Reston, a Flagship-Graves scholarship recipient, graduated from Bishop O’Connell High School as an AP Honors Scholar, was a varsity cheerleader and competed on the track team. They served as Vice Chairs of the Diversity, Equity and Unity Council, the Black Student Union and the Keyette Service Organization. Godfrey plans to pursue undergraduate research in the cognitive science program, as well as participate in the Active Minds club and the International Relations Organization, with the goal of becoming a cognitive therapist, helping those who have experienced trauma to large scale.

Simone Miner of Dover, Delaware, recipient of the Holland Blackburn Scholarship, led the Black Student Union, Gender X, Jefferson Awards, BioMedical Club, and yearbook after-school programs at Tatnall School. She served in student government for four years and co-founded a service project focused on helping local women and children through financial donations and volunteer work. A new Echols Scholar, she plans to major in public health or sociology with the goal of serving the community as a health professional.

Jordan Mondrey of Chesterfield played varsity volleyball, served as a senior class historian, and was a member of the National Honor Society of Monaco High School. A recipient of the Meikel Andrade Scholarship, she plans to major in biology with a minor in psychology with the goal of attending medical school and becoming an emergency physician.

Taliya Moss Melendez of Richmond is the recipient of the first S. Buford Scott Fellowship, established in 2021 with a $1 million gift from Truist Wealth in honor of business and philanthropic leader S. Buford Scott and Scott & Stringfellow. Moss-Melendez is a graduate of Richmond Community High School, where she was a National Honor Society Fellow, served as a Student Ambassador and also earned an associate’s degree in Social Science, Phi Theta Kappa graduate, from Reynolds Community College. She plans to major in chemistry and pursue a career as a pharmacist.

“I am delighted to welcome this new cohort of Ridley Scholars to the Ridley family,” said Simone Pollard, 1993 alumnus, chair of the Ridley board and strategist at a global assessment and learning company. from New Jersey. “Ridley Scholars continue to impact the academic community through their scholarship in the classroom and their service and leadership outside of the classroom. As we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the scholarship fund, I look forward to increasing support from those who believe in Ridley’s mission and impact.

Established in 1987 in an ongoing partnership with the UVA Alumni Association, the Walter N. Ridley Scholarship Program is named after the university’s first black graduate. The program has awarded more than 300 scholarships and holds assets of $20.1 million as of the last fiscal quarter.


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