DC Arts Patron Helping Student Attend Summer Ivy League Program

Zach Wood
Courtesy of Zac Wood
Zach Wood
Courtesy of Zac Wood

When Peggy Cooper Cafritz, a Washington, D.C., arts patron, saw on the news that a local teenager would not be able to attend a prestigious summer Ivy League program because of the price, she was spurred to action.


She called the station to say she would help Zach Wood, whose story aired on the station Wednesday. He was up to $6,000 short of his fundraising goal at gofundme.com, he told WUSA9’s Bruce Leshan.

Wood, 18, was accepted at summer college programs at Yale, Stanford and Brown universities, he wrote on his gofundme.com page. He was also accepted to this year's Yale Writers' Conference, he says on the site. In the fall, he reportedly plans to attend Williams College on a nearly full-ride scholarship, he told WUSA9.

The senior at the prestigious private Bullis School in Potomac, Md., used to wake early on school days at his home in the District's rough-and-tumble Ward 8 and travel two and a half hours by bus and Metro to get to classes. He is finishing his final high school credits online.

"A decade from now, I would like to have an undergraduate degree from Williams College, a double major in political science. I would like to have a degree from Harvard Law School, graduate summa cum laude," he told the station during an interview.

Cafritz reportedly told Wood that the money comes with a few conditions, chief among them that he keep in touch long after the summer program ends, the WUSA9 site says.

Cafritz, a well-known arts patron, has been involved in education in the District for decades, including a term as the president of the D.C. Board of Education. She also co-founded the Duke Ellington School for the Arts in the District's Northwest, the news site says.

Read more WUSA9.