Named in honor of one of OBC’s most beloved members, these scholarships support high school athletes who need financial assistance to join their schools’ rowing teams. The scholarships are funded by proceeds from the Occoquan Memorial Sprints and generous donations from those who understand the value rowing has for young people.

As of 2021, OBC has proudly awarded more than $75,000 in scholarships to rowers from a multitude of different high schools that row on the Occoquan.

About Julia Shew

One of OBC’s most active and outgoing members, Julia Shew extended herself with snacks and encouragement to the high school rowers who practiced daily at Sandy Run. In her last season on the water, at the age of 65, Julia attained the club record and her personal goal of rowing over 3000 miles in a single season. A college rower at UC Berkeley, Julia turned to sculling after her retirement. She could be found most mornings at Sandy Run before or after her daily rows to Bull Run, eager to describe the eagles and other wildlife she encountered. In the fall of 2010 Julia passed away. Because of her energy, generosity, and warmth, and in memory of her enthusiasm for youth rowing, OBC’s scholarship fund was named in Julia’s honor.

Making a Donation

The scholarships are funded by the proceeds from the Occoquan Memorial Sprints regatta, which Bob Spousta founded and envisioned as the source of support for high school students who need financial assistance in order to row. Other donors have contributed to the scholarship fund in Julia’s memory or because they understand the lifelong value rowing has for young people.

If you would like to make a donation, please mail your contribution made payable to Occoquan Boat Club, PO Box 182, Occoquan, VA 22125. Please include Julia Shew Memorial Rowing Scholarship (JSMRS) in the Memo Line.

Because OBC is a 501(c)4 organization, contributions are not tax deductible.

Scholarships Awarded

Awards range from $250 to $400 and are presented to each athlete’s Booster Club to assist with their membership dues.

2020 Scholarship awards: $7700 to several rowing programs.

2018 Scholarship awards: $7200 to 16 rowers from 5 high schools.

2017 Scholarship awards: $7400 to 25 rowers from 10 high schools.

2016 Scholarship awards: $7400 to 24 rowers from 8 high schools.

2015 Scholarship awards: $7700 to 21 rowers from 11 high schools (one rower did not row and the award of $350 was returned).

2014 Scholarship awards: $7100 to 20 rowers from 10 high schools.

2013 Scholarship awards: $7000 to 22 rowers from 10 high schools.

2012 Scholarship awards: $4325 to 13 rowers.

2011 Scholarship awards: $6575 to 16 rowers.

Scholarship application: Link to 2023 Application!