Bishop Dunne Freshman wins $1,000 Scholarship to Summer Institute at Prestigious Washington University

Two months ago freshman Kazai Kiara Drew was looking for internships, and asked her teacher, Ms. Popeil-Ilevia about it.

“She emailed me some links to summer programs, and my mother and I looked through them. We did a little research about the schedules and requirements, and I applied on-line to the Washington University program.” Kazai said the application was just one page. “It was really simple. At the end was an essay, just a paragraph, so I did that. About a week later I heard I was accepted! I was happy - but it’s expensive. So we applied for a scholarship, and I got a $1,000 one.”

Her mother, Froswa’ Booker-Drew, who is of French descent and grew up in Louisiana, and her father Charles, originally from Colorado, are happy to see their only child heading off to learn about her future career.

Kazai (“Ka-ZAY”) came to Bishop Dunne last year for 8th grade from the Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Grand Prairie, where she attended in the 7th grade, but her name comes from Japan. She is named after her father’s mother, her grandmother Kazue, “But people pronounced it ‘Ku-Zu’ so when I was born, my parents changed the spelling of it to make it easier to pronounce for our American culture.”

Born in Texas, Kazai says after college she’d love to live and work in New York City. “I also want to go to college there, at NYU, to study photojournalism.”

The two week workshop begins in late June and goes into early July. “I’ve never been to St. Louis,” Kazai says, “I’m trying not to be nervous about it.”

Kazai will turn 15 in August, so this will be her first trip on her own. Her mother and grandmother will fly up with her to see where she’ll be staying for two weeks, and then she’ll be left to learn all she can.

Washington University's Summer Communications Institute is part of the over a century-and-a-half-old institute that began in 1853, when prominent St. Louis merchant Wayman Crow and his pastor, William Greenleaf Eliot Jr., were concerned about the lack of institutions of higher learning in the growing Midwest. The two worked together to create the university for the waves of immigrants that flooded into St. Louis in the 1840’s and 1850’s, boosting the population of the young city. With these newcomers came a pressing need for education — both industrial training and basic general courses — conducted outside of normal working hours. So the first educational step of the young Washington University was to establish an evening program on October 22, 1854.

Over the succeeding decades, the continuing education program underwent many changes. The university flourished at its location in downtown St. Louis for its first 50 years, growing from an evening program to an institution offering a full slate of scientific, liberal arts and classical course offerings. In time, schools of law and fine arts were added. In 1891, the school acquired the St. Louis Medical College to form a medical department, which merged with the Missouri Medical College in 1899.

In 1891, Robert S. Brookings was named to the board of the growing university. Brookings later became president of the board, and was instrumental in the construction of the new campus as well as the transformation of the medical school. In the spring of 1892, Brookings and several other board members were appointed to a special real estate committee charged with finding a new site for the university. The following year, the committee decided on a hilltop location west of the city. The site plan was developed in 1895 by Frederick Law Olmsted and that is where Kazai will be learning about how to improve her writing skills, so she can pursue her career as a photo journalist.

Ultimately, after college, Kazai would like to work for an on-line publication, and she’d love to cover pop culture or global conflicts – even politics.

After taking Intro to Art – a prerequisite for Photography - Kazai can move into the course and begin her photojournalism portfolio. In the meantime, her favorite class is English, and her hardest is Latin. “It helps out – to know the basic language – just about every language stems from Latin.” She also played middle school volleyball last year, but concentrated on her classes and grades this year. She hopes to run track and take Yoga next year.

The happy owner of two dogs, Sunshine and Lady, a Jack Russell Terrier mix and a Terrier – Schnauzer mix, Kazai has had them since the fifth grade, but she’s willing to leave them for a bit to fly off to St. Louis to begin her future career. “This internship is going to be an experience – and I’m looking forward to it – very much!”

Bishop Dunne has a number of summer camps on its school campus at 3900 Rugged Drive in Oak Cliff, from stregthening your academics to strength training. For more information see the school's website: or contact Tim Hall at 


PHOTO: Freshman Kazai Drew at Easter

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