DEKALB, MAY 26, 2020 -- The Lakeside High School Foundation has awarded three scholarships to students of the Class of 2020. Claire Lin and Thomas Waldman have been awarded the 2020 Joseph P. Reed Alumni Scholarship. Rikita Gehani was awarded the first-ever James “Jimmy Mac” McMahan Scholarship.

Joseph P. Reed Alumni Scholarship 

The Joseph P. Reed Alumni Scholarship award includes $1000 to be used at the college or university of the students’ choice. The scholarship -- named in honor of a former Lakeside principal -- is given annually and recognizes a graduating student who has excelled in academic and extracurricular activities and has served the Lakeside community. In 2020, two students received scholarships.

“Claire Lin and Thomas Waldman personify the true spirit of a Lakeside Viking! They have both excelled academically, athletically and in our community,” said Derrica Williams with the Lakeside High School Foundation.

Claire Lin carried a 4.0 (unweighted) GPA and was dual-enrolled at Georgia Tech. She participated in long-term community service with Northside Hospital Volunteen Program, as a VBS Counselor, Toco Hills Food Pantry and was co-founder of Future Global, a domain she co-founded and developed to provide information on internships to high school students. Her honors include awards for writing, photography, science fairs and science journal publications, and piano competitions, At Lakeside, she founded the Lakeside Interact Honors Club, serving as president, was an active member of the SGA, PSAT National Merit Qualifier, National Honor Society, Tri-M, Orchestra Leadership Council, Lakeside Quartet, and Lakeside Orchestra.

She participated in the National Security Language Initiative for Youth, a U.S. State Department sponsored program, writing an essay detailing her experience spending seven weeks in Jeonju, South Korea. Totally immersed in the culture and language, she shared her life changing experience as she arrived “totally terrified” and gained a new perspective on global experiences and understanding different viewpoints. 

Thomas Lazer Waldman carried a 4.0 (unweighted) GPA, and was dual-enrolled at Georgia State University. He has been a member of the Lakeside JV and Varsity Tennis Team and Lakeside Swim Team, the Beta Club, National Honor Society, SGA, Lakeside Concert Band (tenor saxophone), Founder and Co-President of the Lakeside Medical Club, Founder and President of the Lakeside Philanthropy Club. He has volunteered with the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Volunteen Internship, Student Leader with North Atlanta Professional Preparatory Program, Tennis Coach at Dekalb Tennis Center Summer Camp and Private Tennis Coach. He founded Party Pals, a business that assists parents with set-up, entertainment and clean-up at children’s birthday parties and other events.

He has been recognized with the Principal’s List Honor of Distinction, George Washington University Book Award, Tennis Team Coach’s Award, AP Scholars Award, Georgia Certificate of Merit, and the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

“What caught the attention of the review committee was his work creating and running an annual “Boo for a Cause” haunted house to raise money for various pediatric charities,” said Williams. “He raised funds for the Michael L Lazer Memorial Scholarship for Lakeside Students with Disabilities. Since 2009, he has raised more than $10,000.”

James “Jimmy Mac” McMahan Scholarship 

The James “Jimmy Mac” McMahan Scholarship is new in 2020 and was created in honor of long-time DeKalb School Board member and Lakeside Foundation member, Jim McMahon. The $1,000 award honors a student who makes an exemplary commitment to serving their community.

The 2020 recipient, Rikita Gehani, has shown great dedication to organizations within Lakeside; including the Beta Club, FBLA, National Honor Society, National Art Club, Spanish Honor Society, FCCLA, Medical Club, SGA Senate and the Girls Lacrosse team.

Rikita has been a weekly volunteer with the Hospital Volunteer Programs with Northside Hospital and Emory-Dekalb Medical Center. Since 2017 she has been a Service Leader with Medshare, a non-profit that’s role has been to recover surplus medical supplies and equipment and redistribute it to countries in need. She’s also worked with the Radha Madhav Society at Yugal Kunj, her local temple and community center, as well as Lead Dance Instructor at Harmony Dance Center. She also has served as a summer camp counselor.  

Foundation Distributed $27,000 in Grants in 2018 - 20

These scholarships wrap up a two year period that saw the Foundation distribute more than $27,000 in grants. Those grants have supported new equipment for the football team, track and field team, Dugout Club, the Cheerleading squad, Robotics Club, Chorus, Orchestra, and the Drama Association.

Foundation grants have also supported a new Literacy Lounge, a Science Cart, textbooks for the AP Spanish program, an Eagle Scout landscaping project in the courtyard, and the new Alumni Sports Hall of Fame.

The Foundation raises funds through donations and from the annual 5k Run that it holds each January.

About the Lakeside High School Foundation

The Lakeside High School Foundation supports and implements impactful, sustainable opportunities and initiatives that complement the school’s efforts to build a strong educational focus and a vibrant school community. Learn more at