awards scholarships to recognize and encourage young women in leadership roles.

Monday, girls from nine central Virginia high schools were recognized at the Emily Couric leadership luncheon held at the Omni Hotel in Charlottesville.

This year, Charlottesville High School senior Carman Drake took home the big award, winning the $30,000 Emily Couric Leadership Scholarship.  Eight other nominees from area high schools won $5,000 scholarships as well.

"Just being recognized by my school was an honor. After the interviews I got a phone call and they told me I’d won the award and I was floored. It was really exciting," Drake stated.

Drake is headed to Yale University this fall. She plans to study international relations.

Katie Couric and women's leadership award winner Tina Brown spoke at the event.

Emily Couric Leadership Forum Press Release

The Emily Couric Leadership Forum is pleased to announce that Carman Drake, a senior at Charlottesville High School, has won the fourteenth annual Emily Couric Leadership Scholarship. Carman will receive a $30,000 scholarship. Carman and her fellow nominees will be recognized at the ECLF’s annual luncheon on April 21, 2014 at the Omni Hotel.

The scholarships are awarded annually to recognize and encourage young women in leadership roles. Each public or private high school in Charlottesville and Albemarle may nominate one senior girl who has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in her school and community. Each nominee receives a $5,000 scholarship. These scholarships are intended to be used to offset some of the costs of the recipient’s college education or another approved leadership endeavor. A committee of community leaders selects the winner. This year the ECLF is awarding a total of $75,000, including a rarely given discretionary scholarship of an additional $5,000 to Covenant’s Sadie Yates.

The following criteria were important in the selection: sense of initiative, problem-solving ability, creativity, motivational effectiveness, communication skills, listening capacity, team building style, proven follow-through performance, and effective interpersonal skills. The selection committee felt that Carman demonstrates a great potential for future leadership and influence or impact on society.

This year’s featured speaker and recipient of the Emily Couric Women’s Leadership Award will be award winning journalist, editor and author Tina Brown, who is currently CEO of Tina Brown Live Media, a new company dedicated to summits, salons, flash forums and debates. The Women’s Leadership Award acknowledges an exceptional woman who exemplifies leadership in her profession and her community, with Emily Couric herself receiving the first honor in 2001. Honored speakers in the past have included Emily Couric, Katie Couric, Rita Dove, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Caroline Kennedy, Donna Brazile, Lesley Visser, Erin Gruwell, Kimberly Dozier, Anna Quindlen, Melanne Verveer, Maureen Orth, and Olympia Snowe.

For more information about the Emily Couric Leadership Forum and scholarship please visit our website at
or contact Kara Cox at 434.979.8437 or