Explore News Center Topics

H&R Block Awards Scholarships to High School Students Leading Community Change

4 min read

4 min read

May 31, 2022

$150,000 awarded to 15 high school seniors who are working to Make Every Block Better

May 31, 2022, Kansas City, Mo. – Fifteen ambitious high school students from across the country will each receive a $10,000 scholarship as the 2022 winners of H&R Block’s Children of Associates Premier Scholarship (CAPS) program. These young adults’ accomplishments extend beyond academic excellence, as they have each served their communities by solving relevant and timely problems in innovative ways. The company has awarded more than $1.1 million in scholarships over the past 11 years.

“These highly motivated and inspiring college-bound students represent our purpose to provide help and inspire confidence in our clients and communities everywhere,” said Jeff Jones, president and CEO of H&R Block. “H&R Block is dedicated to Make Every Block Better, building connections among neighbors and providing the resources and support so the spirit of entrepreneurship thrives. This year’s recipients, who are our future, have done exactly that.”

CAPS scholarship winners are relatives of H&R Block associates, franchisees, and franchise employees, and were chosen based on their creativity, passion, and leadership in academics, extracurricular activities, and community service. This year’s winners and their H&R Block relatives, include:

  • Ethan Bledsoe (grandfather Dennis Stansbury) of West Lafayette, Ind., developed a climate literacy campaign that is now a statewide legislative campaign fighting for climate action.
  • Derek Chen (father Feng Chen) of Belmont, Mass., co-created free online lectures and virtual education resources for students during the pandemic.
  • Reagan Claggett (father Chris Claggett) of Castle Pines, Colo., worked with her school’s ECO Club to switch the cafeteria utensils to eco-friendly options, improving recycling rates among students and creating sustainable changes.
  • Brooklyn Conrad (mother Jamie Conrad) of Ortonville, Minn., partnered with her local
    4-H for the “Feeding Growing Minds for a Healthy Future” campaign, resulting in more than $2,000 donated to the food pantry.
  • Leah Elesinmogun (mother Oluwafunmilayo Elesinmogun) of Bowie, Md., started “GirlsBringUpGirls,” a nonprofit for girls ages 6-13 committed to improve self-esteem through workshops on mental health, education, and community service.
  • Hariaksha Gunda (mother Nagajyothi Gund) of Montgomery, Ala., built two large box gardens benefitting more than 30 partially and fully disabled veterans to provide positive therapeutic effects on former service members.
  • Disha Iyengar (mother Madhuri Raju) of Northville, Mich., volunteers as an assistant caretaker at a local nursing home, where she organizes events to liven up the community and build social confidence.
  • Jesse Johannsen (grandmother Karen Heidenreich) of West Allis, Wis., uses pieces and parts from old devices to build computers for kids who can’t afford them.
  • Tavis Jorgensen (father Richard Thomas Jorgensen) of Syracuse, Utah, made masks for hospitals, prisons, senior care communities, and lower income areas.
  • Elan Kluger (father Abram Kluger) of Ann Arbor, Mich., started a newspaper club, then secured a faculty advisor to formalize the program into one of the school’s most popular classes.
  • Apurva Mitta (mother Manjula Mitta) of Columbia, S.C., serves as the social media and public relations coordinator for a nonprofit dedicated to creating youth volunteer opportunities.
  • Rahul Prakash (grandmother Indira Parekh) of Chevy Chase, Md., tutors students and serves as president of the local chapter of a nonprofit offering educational programming to underserved communities of color.
  • Araya Rodrigues (grandmother Jacqueline Platt) of Salida, Colo., co-created a Youth Mindfulness Meditation Series to help youth quiet the mind, think rationally, and to feel safe, soothed, and seen by those around them.
  • Rohan Shah (mother Jesal Shah) of Richmond, Texas, coordinated with local and national nonprofits to provide his school’s student body with more than 5,000 hours of community service opportunities.
  • Richa Vallurpalli (father Venkat Vallurupall) of Overland Park, Kan., founded and fundraised for a virtual summer camp that taught elementary and middle school students the fundamental principles of science.


About H&R Block

H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) provides help and inspires confidence in its clients and communities everywhere through global tax preparation services, financial products, and small-business solutions. The company blends digital innovation with human expertise and care as it helps people get the best outcome at tax time and also be better with money using its mobile banking app, Spruce. Through Block Advisors and Wave, the company helps small-business owners thrive with innovative products like Wave Money, a mobile-first, small-business bank account and bookkeeping solution, that manages bookkeeping automatically. For more information, visit H&R Block News or follow @HRBlockNews on Twitter.