ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - On Friday 10 high school seniors from the Albemarle-Charlottesville area received scholarships from the Emily Couric Leadership Fund.

For the 16th year, the Emily Couric Leadership Forum is awarding scholarships to women who have demonstrated leadership in their schools and community.

“I think it's so important to be emphasizing leadership among women and among seniors here in our local area, to continue to honor Emily's legacy,” said Katie Shevlin, former recipient and board member.

The women were chosen for their leadership and service to the community.

All 10 finalists got $5,000 scholarships. One winner, St. Anne’s-Belfield senior Olivia Vande Woude, won $30,000.

It's all to remember the legacy of Virginia State Senator Emily Couric.

“I'll be going to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and I'm very excited to be going there,” said Vande Woude.

The students are already part of a legacy bigger than themselves.

I'm just so proud to be associated with such a woman who made such strides to issues of health, education, and civic responsibility,” said Vande Woude.

Vande Woude won the $30,000 scholarship, in part for her love of poetry and dedication to sharing it with others. She organized a reading for teenagers at the Virginia Festival of the Book.

“It was just amazing to see those young writers come out and share their work. There are not that many opportunities for that in the realm of school,” said Vande Woude.

She was excited to meet one of her favorite poets: this year's women's leadership award winner and New York Times bestselling poet, Nikki Giovanni.

“I am so so so in awe of her and so excited to spend the day with her,” said Vande Woude.

Giovanni said she was struck by the students' enthusiasm.

“To see the young women involved in going to college, to see us, and I'm saying us as the old ladies, being supportive of the young women, it's very important,” said Giovanni.

That support doesn't end with Friday’s lunch. Many of the scholarship's past recipients were there Friday to welcome the new girls into the family they say lasts a lifetime.