GNO Collaborative Teachers

Photo: Franklin students awarded PEO STAR Scholarship

Date: September 9th, 2021

NEW ORLEANS (Aug. 11, 2021) – Benjamin Franklin High School, in

partnership with the Philanthropic Educational Organization, or PEO, is

pleased to share that Ava Wilkes ’21 was awarded the $2,500 PEO STAR


The PEO STAR Scholarship was established in 2009 to provide

scholarships for exceptional high school senior women to attend an

accredited postsecondary educational institution in the U.S. or Canada in

the next academic year. The competitive STAR Scholarship is for women

who exhibit excellence in leadership, academics, extracurricular activities,

community service, and potential for future success.

Due to COVID restrictions, Wilkes couldn’t receive the honor at BFHS

graduation, but the PEO and BFHS administration celebrated her

accomplishment with a small ceremony at the school on Aug. 7.

Wilkes, a National Merit Finalist and a U.S. Presidential Scholar candidate,

also was the school’s Student of the Year and a state Student of the Year

finalist. In addition to playing soccer and tennis, she served on the Mayor’s

Youth Advisory Council and as a volunteer tutor and

homeroom representative. She also was a member of the DoSomething

Club and the National Honor Society. A straight-A student who took a full

load of AP classes senior year, Wilkes speaks both French and Chinese and

made a perfect 36 on her ACT. She will be attending Washington and Lee

University this fall.

For more information, please contact Eve Peyton at (504) 503-0062


About Benjamin Franklin High School

Benjamin Franklin High School, New Orleans’ most outstanding

public charter school, has been preparing students for success through

academic achievement since its founding in 1957. Consistently ranked as a

“top public high school in the nation” by U.S. News & World Report,

Newsweek, and Business Week, Franklin has received the highest School

Performance School in Louisiana, making it the No. 1 public school in the

state, year after year. Ben Franklin is repeatedly named a National Blue

Ribbon School, producing Presidential and National Merit Scholars each

year. The exceptional students, faculty, and staff at Ben Franklin are the

best and the brightest in New Orleans. For more information, please visit

About Philanthropic Educational Organization

Philanthropic Educational Organization has been celebrating women

helping women reach for the stars for more than 150 years. Since its

inception in 1869, the nonprofit organization has helped more than

116,000 women pursue educational goals by providing more than $383

million in grants, scholarships, awards, and loans. The Sisterhood also

owns and supports Cottey College. Through membership, the PEO

Sisterhood has brought together more than half a million women in the

U.S. and Canada who are passionate about helping women advance

through education while supporting and motivating them. In addition to

the educational philanthropies, the PEO Sisterhood provides a framework

of support and community for all members. It started as a bond of

friendship among seven women in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and is now one of

the oldest women’s organizations in North America with close to 6,000

chapters. To learn more about PEO, please visit

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