Sunday, December 3, 2023

Area Graduates Among 6 Awarded Langley Federal Credit Union Scholarships

A local branch of Langley Federal Credit Union. (WYDaily File)

NEWPORT NEWS — Langley Federal Credit Union announced six college-bound members of the credit union will receive Jean M. Yokum College Scholarships for 2023, including several students with local ties.

Named after the credit union’s former president and CEO, Langley Federal Credit Union awards the $5,000 scholarships each spring. The Peninsula Community Foundation manages the program and coordinates decisions about the scholarships with a committee of volunteer community leaders.

(Courtesy of Langley Federal Credit Union)

According to Langley Federal Credit Union, this year’s recipients are:

  • Justin Babillino, who will attend Purdue University after graduating from York High School and New Horizons Governor’s School for Science and Technology. He has volunteered at Christopher Newport University STEM Day and the Langley Air Show, and has also volunteered with Virginia Commonwealth University occupational therapy doctoral students to design and implement hand controls for toys for children with impaired mobility. He plans to pursue an electrical engineering degree with applied math and computer science minors in hopes of tackling the world’s most pressing engineering problems.
  • Karina Long, who will attend University of Mary Washington after graduating from Jamestown High School. She has served as a junior volunteer at Sentara Hospital, where she assisted nurses in the cardiovascular unit, and has also volunteered at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, assisting physical therapists in helping children with disabilities and injuries. She has also served in officer positions in several Jamestown High School clubs, including the Kiwanis Key Club and Spanish Club. She is looking to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biomedical science in hopes of ultimately going to PT school to become a pediatric physical therapist.
  • Gabriel McLendon, who will attend George Mason University this fall after graduating from Landstown High School in Virginia Beach. McLendon volunteered for several programs as an instructor and troop leader for Boy Scouts of America and has volunteered at key community events, including American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. He plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and enroll in the Air Force ROTC with the ultimate goal to become an astronaut.
  • Frederic Ramirez-Melenciano, who is attending the University of Virginia after graduating from Phoebus High School in Hampton. Ramirez-Melenciano was a student in the Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars program and attended Old Dominion University’s Private Pilot Ground School Summer Program to receive the certification to take the Federal Aviation Administration pilot exam. He has completed service projects as a member of Project Alpha through First Baptist Church and served as a Riverside Regional Medical Center summer volunteer. He plans to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering to become an aerospace engineer.
  • Hailey Swartzbaugh, who will attend Randolph-Macon College after graduating from Poquoson High School. She has volunteered with Emmaus Baptist Church and Poquoson Parks and Recreation and served as the co-captain of Poquoson High School’s Varsity Field Hockey team, leading the team to state and regional championships. She will pursue a bachelor’s of science in engineering and astrophysics and will be a member of the field hockey team. Her goal is to earn her master’s degree in aerospace engineering to help further the space industry’s journey to deep space.
  • Tyrah Weems, who will be attending Morgan State University after graduating from Poquoson High School. Weems volunteered with 4 Paws Animal Rescue and Riverside Regional Medical Center, was a member of Mu Alpha Theta-Math Honor Society and Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society and competed on the varsity volleyball and basketball teams. She also served as president of the Poquoson High School Key Club. She plans to obtain a bachelor of science degree in biology with the long-term goal of pursing a medical career.

For more information about Langley Federal Credit Union, visit

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