CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Students in Albemarle were celebrated at the Omni Hotel in downtown Charlottesville April 25.  Hundreds gathered in the hotel’s ballroom for the annual luncheon ceremony to present the Emily Couric Leadership Forum scholarships.

The Emily Couric Leadership Scholarship Award is awarded to a high school aged woman who is already making a difference in the world.

Western Albemarle High School student, Meg Richey, is receiving the top accolades this year. Richey is set to receive a $30,000 scholarship. She was selected this year because she is passionate about increasing gender diversity in the field of computer science,

"I've been in situations where I was the only girl on the robotics team in middle school and nobody would talk to me," she said. 

She has created a patent-pending device for those suffering from diabetic foot ulcers, called a Morris Orthotic. 

Top honors, along with $10,000 scholarships, also go to Victoria Carter-Johnston from Tandem Friends School and Lucia Grace Hoerr of St. Anne's Belfield.

Hoerr says she is consistently looking for new ways to be inspired and looking for people who share her interests in service and leadership. 

Carter-Johnston says the award and energy at the luncheon gave her a boost of confidence. She is inspired by her grandmother, who recently passed away.  She has her sights set on cultivating a career in politics and says her inspiration for that comes from Michelle Obama. 

Seven other finalists received $5,000 scholarships.

Since 2001, the leadership forum has awarded more than $731,000 to 143 female high school seniors.