CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Two Charlottesville-area students are getting a full ride to the University of Virginia.

They’re among dozens of high schoolers who earned Jefferson Scholars Foundation awards this year.

Recipients of this award must be nominated by their school and go through a rigorous and multi-staged process.

This year, the foundation selected 38 high school seniors from three countries, 20 states, and the District of Columbia.

“We sometimes have difficulties persuading folks from Charlottesville to stay here,” Jimmy Wright, the president of operations at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, said.

But this year is different. In fact, the Jefferson Scholars Foundation says two of the people awarded are from the Charlottesville area and will stay in town to attend UVA.

“I'd like to think that the existence of our scholarship was influential at least in helping those two young men decide to stay here to go to school,” Wright said.

One of those young men is Cutter Huston, who’s finishing up his senior year at Albemarle High School.

“I'm very honored to receive the award,” Huston said. “It's a full ride scholarship to UVA, which is incredible and it's an amazing opportunity for me so I'm just over the moon excited.”

Huston hopes to pursue a degree in engineering, but he’s also interested in politics.

“I hopefully would have a job in the engineering field for a while - I really enjoy that type of work - but I really think making a difference in the society is a great way to do that is through politics, so that's the way that I want to go hopefully one day,” Huston said.

Huston says this award would not be possible without his parents and guidance counselor.

“I'm really excited to meet people that are from around the world who've also been awarded this, so I'm rooming with someone from India which is really exciting,” Huston said.

The second young man from the area is Charlottesville High School student Dani Szabo.

A school counselor says Szabo is the "real deal" and has been a stellar scholar, humble leader, and an actively engaged school citizen.

“Both have significant leadership potential, and both have an understanding that it's best to use your leadership gifts in an effort to help others as opposed to being motivated primarily by selfish ambition,” Wright said.

Dani Szabo was not available to speak with NBC29 because he was busy taking an AP exam.

During their four years at UVA, both students will take part in a number of enrichment programs, career networking opportunities, team-building workshops, and more.