Twenty of the 21 DCSAA scholarship recipients were honored Wednesday night. (Photo by Cory Royster/DCSAA)

The District of Columbia State Athletic Association gave away $21,000 in scholarships to 21 seniors in a ceremony Wednesday night, marking the beginning of a scholarship program the organization hopes to expand in the future, DCSAA Executive Director Clark Ray said in a statement.

The awards went to students from 11 of the District’s schools, including public, charter, private and independent institutions. The students were recognized for athletic achievement, community service and academic excellence. The DCSAA partnered with Modell’s Sporting Goods and Wendy’s to bring the scholarships to the District for the first time.

The list of winners included athletes involved in student government, student newspaper and yearbook, a poetry club and the National Honor Society, among other groups. It also included students completing volunteer work in the Big Brother program, the Potomac Horse Center’s therapeutic riding program and the construction of a home on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana.

One of the students honored was Dunbar track star London Freeland, who was first-team All-Met during the indoor season and served as a team captain for the Crimson Tide this year. She also served as a vice president for the Student Government Association and as a volunteer feeding the homeless in the city, as well as working as a youth coach at Prince Georges County Sports and Learning Center.

“It lets me know that people are actually out there watching my achievements and seeing what I’m doing and how I’m trying to further be better in my life,” said Freeland, who will run track at Tennessee next year. “I actually believe that D.C. is on the come up…it really is just more than sports.”

The other award recipients include: Banneker’s Nadja Theodore; Cardozo’s Samantha T.W. Nelson; DeJuan Murphy, Tristan Thompson and Tyler Thompson, all of Cesar Chavez; Mecca Brown and Terry Talford of Dunbar; Fatima Fairfax, Sydney Morris and Maya Patel of Georgetown Day; Marquivious Hunter-Thomas and Quentin Hugee of KIPP; Kai DeBerry-Bostick and Marc Nicolas of McKinley Tech;  National Collegiate’s Dorian MarshallRuben Pansegrouw and Anna Tsai of School Without Walls; Alistair Andrulis and Eliana Duran of Washington Latin and Wilson’s Jacinda Miller.

“We are exceptionally proud to honor these young men and women and provide this valuable  start to their college careers,” Ray said in a statement. “With the help of  partners such as Modell’s and Wendy’s, who truly believe in the importance of helping the  young people in our communities, our hope is to continue to grow this scholarship program and  make it bigger and better in the future.”