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Ellington Arts Alum Creates College Scholarship For His Alma Mater

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Ellington Fund is thrilled to announce a new annual college scholarship from celebrated journalist and writer, Adam Serwer (Class of 2001). The scholarship is named after his parents, Daniel & Jacquelyn Serwer, and will provide assistance with college expenses for an in-need graduating senior from Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

Duke Ellington School of the Arts was founded with a mission “to nurture and inspire passion for arts and learning in talented students who might not otherwise have an opportunity to develop their artistic skills.” The Daniel & Jacquelyn Serwer scholarship expands on the mission to empower the next generation of emerging artists and global citizens. “It ensures that Ellington students who are most in need of financial support will continue to receive tools to thrive after graduation,” says Principal Logan.

A Washington D.C. native, Serwer‘s decision to establish the scholarship was driven by the knowledge that not all of his classmates had the same opportunities or resources to attend college despite being highly qualified. Serwer hopes the scholarship will help reduce the financial barriers that prevent many talented young people from pursuing higher education and following their intellectual dreams.

Adam Serwer is a staff writer in the Ideas section of The Atlantic and the author of The New York Times Bestseller The Cruelty Is the Point: The Past, Present and Future of Trump’s America. Beginning as a writing fellow for the American Prospect, Adam has spent years covering issues of politics, race, immigration, and national security, reporting from the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and the chambers of the Supreme Court.

Following his time at the Prospect, Adam worked as a reporter for Mother Jones magazine, and then MSNBC, before becoming the national editor at BuzzFeed News. In 2016, he moved to The Atlantic as its deputy politics editor, before shifting back to a more writing-focused role. He is the recipient of the 2019 Hillman Prize for commentary and analysis, the 2015 Sigma Delta Chi Award for online column writing, the 2019 National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Award for magazine commentary, and the 2020 Vernon Jarrett Medal.

In The Cruelty Is the Point, Serwer positively reflects on his alma mater, “I simply would not be here without my teachers, who gave shelter and focus to a troubled and angry teenager. I want to express my deepest appreciation to the educators at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.”

The application for the Serwer scholarship is now open for the Class of 2022. Eligibility for the Serwer Scholarship includes a one-page essay on why the student wants to or decided to attend college or another higher education institution, at least a 3.5 GPA at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and demonstrated financial need. All applications should be emailed to Assistant Principal Isaac Daniel at and Ms. Reavis at by March 31, 2022.

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