Scholars List

Filter Current Scholars List

Education Fund Scholars
Filter by year

Ama Afful

Bronx Community College

Maria Teresa Aymerich

Columbia University

Bree Brown-Rosa

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Erika Caballero

Kingsborough Community College

Charlotte Coats

Columbia University

Kristi Lyn Eaton

Columbia University

Chanel Elliot

Baruch College

Jessica Gonzalez

Queens College

Daughter of a single mother, Guatemalan Immigrant, Jessica witnessed how hard her mother worked to provide a better future for her. Jessica’s mother has been a major inspiration in her desire to obtain a college degree and pursue a profession where she can be of service to others in need. At thirty-six, Jessica returned to school to pursue a career in speech language pathology with a desire to help persons with disabilities reclaim their voices and to communicate. Jessica also aims to work as a bilingual speech language pathologist within the underserved community of Spanish-speakers, who make up a significant sector of our society. Jessica’s hope is to help women suffering from language disorders to regain their ability to communicate, with a special interest in working with stroke victims and patients who have suffered from brain trauma. “Receiving an award from the 2021 Education Fund would help me financially to complete my undergraduate degree and apply for graduate school, which is a necessary step to become a licensed speech pathologist.” - Jessica Gonzalez

Daughter of a single mother, Guatemalan Immigrant, Jessica witnessed how hard her mother worked to provide a better future for her. Jessica’s mother has been a major inspiration in her desire to obtain a college degree and pursue a profession where she can be of service to others in need. At thirty-six, Jessica returned to school to pursue a career in speech language pathology with a desire to help persons with disabilities reclaim their voices and to communicate. Jessica also aims to work as a bilingual speech language pathologist within the underserved community of Spanish-speakers, who make up a significant sector of our society. Jessica’s hope is to help women suffering from language disorders to regain their ability to communicate, with a special interest in working with stroke victims and patients who have suffered from brain trauma. “Receiving an award from the 2021 Education Fund would help me financially to complete my undergraduate degree and apply for graduate school, which is a necessary step to become a licensed speech pathologist.” - Jessica Gonzalez

Neosha Joynes

CUNY School of Professional Studies

From a young age, Neosha experienced the pains of growing up in the foster care system and numerous group homes. Living through physical and sexual abuse, Neosha felt compelled to take her experiences and help others in need. Neosha enrolled in school and switched gears from wanting to be an Early Child Educator to working with families and victims in need as a sociology major. Neosha has also teamed up with her brother who was in the child welfare system, to also make a change in the outcomes of those who are often forgotten children in the system. Neosha and her brother plan to organize a program in providing meals, toilettes, clothing, and programs for youth in the foster and group home system. Neosha’s past experiences in helping other young women leave toxic environments brings her tremendous joy, and upon graduation, she plans on getting her program up and running. “My drive has always been in helping people in need and giving my all in situations that could change someone’s life.” - Neosha Joynes

From a young age, Neosha experienced the pains of growing up in the foster care system and numerous group homes. Living through physical and sexual abuse, Neosha felt compelled to take her experiences and help others in need. Neosha enrolled in school and switched gears from wanting to be an Early Child Educator to working with families and victims in need as a sociology major. Neosha has also teamed up with her brother who was in the child welfare system, to also make a change in the outcomes of those who are often forgotten children in the system. Neosha and her brother plan to organize a program in providing meals, toilettes, clothing, and programs for youth in the foster and group home system. Neosha’s past experiences in helping other young women leave toxic environments brings her tremendous joy, and upon graduation, she plans on getting her program up and running. “My drive has always been in helping people in need and giving my all in situations that could change someone’s life.” - Neosha Joynes

Yanfang Liang

Queensborough Community College

As a single mother overcoming domestic violence in 2021, Yanfang has experienced her share of pressures, trying to balance work, life, school and motherhood.  After becoming unemployed during the pandemic and getting COVID, Yanfang fell into a depression that almost swayed her to drop out of school completely. Luckily, with the help of the Education Fund, Yanfang can continue her educational studies as an Architectural major without the pressure of worrying about financial aid.  “I aspire to get my bachelor’s degree and become a certified architect. My passion for architectural design assists me in pursuing my career goal.” - Yanfang Liang

As a single mother overcoming domestic violence in 2021, Yanfang has experienced her share of pressures, trying to balance work, life, school and motherhood.  After becoming unemployed during the pandemic and getting COVID, Yanfang fell into a depression that almost swayed her to drop out of school completely. Luckily, with the help of the Education Fund, Yanfang can continue her educational studies as an Architectural major without the pressure of worrying about financial aid.  “I aspire to get my bachelor’s degree and become a certified architect. My passion for architectural design assists me in pursuing my career goal.” - Yanfang Liang

Turquois Martin

Hunter College

Having experienced parents who faced substance abuse and incarceration, Turquoise’s upbringing placed her in the foster care system. At 16, Turquoise was diagnosed with depression and dropped out of high school. For next 12 years, Turquoise remained entrenched in sex work through trafficking and during this time became a mother. Turquoise has had to overcome depression, trafficking, grief, homelessness, and addiction. Motivated to change her circumstances, Turquoise embarked on a journey of self-discovery, education, advocacy, and healing. Determined to create a brighter future for herself, Turquoise put sex work behind her, entered a rehabilitation center, regained custody of her son and set her sights on achieving higher education. Turquoise decided on a CUNY community college and majored in Human Services. Becoming a full-time student afforded Turquoise the ability to be active on campus. Turquoise was elected Treasurer of the Sisterhood Society Club, then Club President the following semester. Turquoise also had the pleasure of being a student instructor for the African-American Studies course: Black Men in Contemporary Society, which opened her eyes to social issues and empowered Turquoise in her leadership abilities. After obtaining her degree in Human Services, Turquoise moved on to Hunter College to pursue a Master’s in Social Work. Turquoise looks forward to utilizing her experiences and wisdom to create healing spaces, in communities and human vessels. “With the Women’s Forum Education Award, I plan to begin my journey as a small business owner opening a local bookstore and community resource that would provide holistic healing, educational workshops, and resources to my community in the Lower Eastside of Manhattan. This would provide not only a steady income for my family and myself but also a pot of soil to build community.” - Turquoise Martin

Having experienced parents who faced substance abuse and incarceration, Turquoise’s upbringing placed her in the foster care system. At 16, Turquoise was diagnosed with depression and dropped out of high school. For next 12 years, Turquoise remained entrenched in sex work through trafficking and during this time became a mother. Turquoise has had to overcome depression, trafficking, grief, homelessness, and addiction. Motivated to change her circumstances, Turquoise embarked on a journey of self-discovery, education, advocacy, and healing. Determined to create a brighter future for herself, Turquoise put sex work behind her, entered a rehabilitation center, regained custody of her son and set her sights on achieving higher education. Turquoise decided on a CUNY community college and majored in Human Services. Becoming a full-time student afforded Turquoise the ability to be active on campus. Turquoise was elected Treasurer of the Sisterhood Society Club, then Club President the following semester. Turquoise also had the pleasure of being a student instructor for the African-American Studies course: Black Men in Contemporary Society, which opened her eyes to social issues and empowered Turquoise in her leadership abilities. After obtaining her degree in Human Services, Turquoise moved on to Hunter College to pursue a Master’s in Social Work. Turquoise looks forward to utilizing her experiences and wisdom to create healing spaces, in communities and human vessels. “With the Women’s Forum Education Award, I plan to begin my journey as a small business owner opening a local bookstore and community resource that would provide holistic healing, educational workshops, and resources to my community in the Lower Eastside of Manhattan. This would provide not only a steady income for my family and myself but also a pot of soil to build community.” - Turquoise Martin

Minyuan Meng

Brooklyn College

Minyuan came to this country as a new immigrant five years ago, confused about what her future would look like. At 40, Minyuan faced some difficult questions, but had full faith that she would pull herself out of this predicament and began to make plans for her future. Minyuan is now transferring from Kingsborough Community College to Brooklyn College to obtain her first Bachelor’s Degree. Making the decision to continue her education has helped Minyuan find her self-worth. However, this new venture in her life is not without its struggles. Balancing a job, education and family life as a mother of two children, has led to many late nights for Minyuan. Overcoming the challenging obstacle of learning English, today, Minyuan maintains a GPA of 3.955 proving to her children that as long as you have a dream and work hard enough, you can achieve your wish. With the Education Fund, Minyuan will now be able to achieve her educational dreams and balance the expenses of family life with ease.  “Because applying what you have learned is the most practical way to master knowledge and reflect self-worth. After graduation, I want to find a job with a professional accounting area. And at the same time earn the CPA certificate. I believe this certificate will make me more successful in my career. I hope to print the title CPA on my business card in the next 5 years. I know I can.” - Minyuan Meng

Minyuan came to this country as a new immigrant five years ago, confused about what her future would look like. At 40, Minyuan faced some difficult questions, but had full faith that she would pull herself out of this predicament and began to make plans for her future. Minyuan is now transferring from Kingsborough Community College to Brooklyn College to obtain her first Bachelor’s Degree. Making the decision to continue her education has helped Minyuan find her self-worth. However, this new venture in her life is not without its struggles. Balancing a job, education and family life as a mother of two children, has led to many late nights for Minyuan. Overcoming the challenging obstacle of learning English, today, Minyuan maintains a GPA of 3.955 proving to her children that as long as you have a dream and work hard enough, you can achieve your wish. With the Education Fund, Minyuan will now be able to achieve her educational dreams and balance the expenses of family life with ease.  “Because applying what you have learned is the most practical way to master knowledge and reflect self-worth. After graduation, I want to find a job with a professional accounting area. And at the same time earn the CPA certificate. I believe this certificate will make me more successful in my career. I hope to print the title CPA on my business card in the next 5 years. I know I can.” - Minyuan Meng

Frances Miro

Baruch College

Discouraged by the lack of support within her home, becoming an orphaned young adult and teen mom, Frances set the bar low for herself because she felt there were no examples of successful stories. Refusing to be a statistical victim of circumstance sparked a personal rebellion against self-oppression for Frances. After gaining the experience of working at a corporate resellers firm for 16 years, Frances desired to learn the business savvy communication skills necessary for earning respect within positions of power, which prompted Frances to seek higher education. In the Fall of 2017, Frances was a forty-year-old freshman and a full-time student, employee, and mom. On the Dean’s list four consecutive semesters, Frances was accepted into BMCC’s prestigious “Out in Two” program and in Spring of 2019, she graduated BMCC with honors. Transferring to Baruch College immediately after her BMCC graduation, Frances has maintained uninterrupted excellence in all courses even through changing learning platforms due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Frances’s struggle in finding her way professionally and academically inspires her to help others find theirs. With the help of the Education Fund, will allow Frances to gain the knowledge and skills she needs to direct potential students towards the path of educational enlightenment. “My career goal is to create safe spaces that offer help with academic and professional enhancement. I want to help creatives construct business plans and goals that lead them to success.”

Discouraged by the lack of support within her home, becoming an orphaned young adult and teen mom, Frances set the bar low for herself because she felt there were no examples of successful stories. Refusing to be a statistical victim of circumstance sparked a personal rebellion against self-oppression for Frances. After gaining the experience of working at a corporate resellers firm for 16 years, Frances desired to learn the business savvy communication skills necessary for earning respect within positions of power, which prompted Frances to seek higher education. In the Fall of 2017, Frances was a forty-year-old freshman and a full-time student, employee, and mom. On the Dean’s list four consecutive semesters, Frances was accepted into BMCC’s prestigious “Out in Two” program and in Spring of 2019, she graduated BMCC with honors. Transferring to Baruch College immediately after her BMCC graduation, Frances has maintained uninterrupted excellence in all courses even through changing learning platforms due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Frances’s struggle in finding her way professionally and academically inspires her to help others find theirs. With the help of the Education Fund, will allow Frances to gain the knowledge and skills she needs to direct potential students towards the path of educational enlightenment. “My career goal is to create safe spaces that offer help with academic and professional enhancement. I want to help creatives construct business plans and goals that lead them to success.”

Keila Palencia

Columbia University

Keila has wanted to make an impact in the lives of families, especially those with children, since her son was diagnosed with Autism fifteen years ago. Because of the struggles she faced as a young mother (being 26 at the time of her son’s diagnosis and already having a five year old daughter) Keila saw the gaps in the support for women and families who were trying to help their children with this pervasive disorder. Keila knew then that she would need to obtain her degree in order to be able to provide for her son’s financial security in the future. Dealing with the pressures of managing child care, a part-time job, and going through a turbulent divorce resulting in Keila obtaining an order of protection, Keila never lost hope. In 2018, Keila was a divorced mother of two and working for a non profit organization specializing in domestic violence. Keila took a chance and enrolled in Borough of Manhattan Community College, earning a 3.8 GPA there and was subsequently accepted to Columbia University. Keila now has a 4.0 GPA at Columbia and with the aid of the Education Fund is working diligently on completing her degree in the hopes of being able to properly provide for her children.   “I would like to be a part of an organization that caters to the needs of those with disabilities and whose focus is not just the children themselves but by supporting parents in obtaining higher education or vocational skills to better provide for their families, as this is the key to ensuring these children find themselves financially cared for as adults.” - Keila Palencia

Keila has wanted to make an impact in the lives of families, especially those with children, since her son was diagnosed with Autism fifteen years ago. Because of the struggles she faced as a young mother (being 26 at the time of her son’s diagnosis and already having a five year old daughter) Keila saw the gaps in the support for women and families who were trying to help their children with this pervasive disorder. Keila knew then that she would need to obtain her degree in order to be able to provide for her son’s financial security in the future. Dealing with the pressures of managing child care, a part-time job, and going through a turbulent divorce resulting in Keila obtaining an order of protection, Keila never lost hope. In 2018, Keila was a divorced mother of two and working for a non profit organization specializing in domestic violence. Keila took a chance and enrolled in Borough of Manhattan Community College, earning a 3.8 GPA there and was subsequently accepted to Columbia University. Keila now has a 4.0 GPA at Columbia and with the aid of the Education Fund is working diligently on completing her degree in the hopes of being able to properly provide for her children.   “I would like to be a part of an organization that caters to the needs of those with disabilities and whose focus is not just the children themselves but by supporting parents in obtaining higher education or vocational skills to better provide for their families, as this is the key to ensuring these children find themselves financially cared for as adults.” - Keila Palencia

Valerie Pires

LaGuardia Community College

Growing up in a dysfunctional family dynamic, Valerie’s passion to embark upon higher education was stifled and stripped from her. After being diagnosed with a life-threatening spinal cord tumor, Valerie had no option but to face major high-risk surgery. Thankfully, Valerie’s surgery was a success, but the recovery was long and brutal. After spending one month in inpatient rehab and two years working through neurological deficits, relearning how to walk, use her hands, and retraining her brain to adapt to her new normal, education remained her passion.  While recovering, Valerie knew she could not immediately return to work, and looked into going back to school. In 2020, Valerie enrolled back into school, but after living one week of the freshman college experience, the campus shut down due to the COVID pandemic. Dealing with the financial strains of the COVID pandemic and trying to recover from the expensive and lengthy spinal cord surgery in 2017, the past ten months have been enormously challenging. With the help of the Education Fund, Valerie intends to focus solely on her studies and her first year at a senior college. The Fund would also allow Valerie to set up a proper study space in her apartment and start to build a new home again after a fire that took away all of her belongings. “My career plans focus on developing investigative multimedia social documentary storytelling, using various media to generate social impact. I use the written word, still, and moving images to tell meaningful stories. Besides exploring the human condition, I am interested in women and human rights, stories of trauma, fighting corruption and abuse of power, social justice, culture, and the arts.” - Valerie Pires

Growing up in a dysfunctional family dynamic, Valerie’s passion to embark upon higher education was stifled and stripped from her. After being diagnosed with a life-threatening spinal cord tumor, Valerie had no option but to face major high-risk surgery. Thankfully, Valerie’s surgery was a success, but the recovery was long and brutal. After spending one month in inpatient rehab and two years working through neurological deficits, relearning how to walk, use her hands, and retraining her brain to adapt to her new normal, education remained her passion.  While recovering, Valerie knew she could not immediately return to work, and looked into going back to school. In 2020, Valerie enrolled back into school, but after living one week of the freshman college experience, the campus shut down due to the COVID pandemic. Dealing with the financial strains of the COVID pandemic and trying to recover from the expensive and lengthy spinal cord surgery in 2017, the past ten months have been enormously challenging. With the help of the Education Fund, Valerie intends to focus solely on her studies and her first year at a senior college. The Fund would also allow Valerie to set up a proper study space in her apartment and start to build a new home again after a fire that took away all of her belongings. “My career plans focus on developing investigative multimedia social documentary storytelling, using various media to generate social impact. I use the written word, still, and moving images to tell meaningful stories. Besides exploring the human condition, I am interested in women and human rights, stories of trauma, fighting corruption and abuse of power, social justice, culture, and the arts.” - Valerie Pires

Biljana Radojicic

Baruch College

While growing up in Serbia, Biljana witnessed two wars and experienced its after effects. Many people suffered from mental illnesses due to post-traumatic stress disorder and these experiences encouraged her to study Industrial Organizational Psychology. After graduating from Kosova in Serbia, Biljana saw an opportunity to work and study in America. Biljana came to New York City in 2011 and in 2015 was accepted at LaGuardia Community College as a Business Administration major. During her studies, Biljana was diagnosed with stage one ovarian cancer and underwent two life-saving surgeries followed by conventional chemotherapy, all-the-while remaining dedicated to her educational studies - often times bringing her textbooks with her during her chemotherapy sessions. Now that Biljana has recovered, she’s been able to enroll at Baruch College where she was accepted at the Zicklin School of Business studying her combined interests: Industrial and Organizational Psychology. With the help of the Education Fund, Biljana can continue on her mission to help adults manage stress better and lead healthier lives.   “After I finish my studies, I plan to work full-time in psychology to focus on mental health issues, primarily post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. One of my long-term goals is to work for United Nations to help others with the necessary aid to resolve conflict worldwide to maintain international peace and security.” - Biljana Radojicic

While growing up in Serbia, Biljana witnessed two wars and experienced its after effects. Many people suffered from mental illnesses due to post-traumatic stress disorder and these experiences encouraged her to study Industrial Organizational Psychology. After graduating from Kosova in Serbia, Biljana saw an opportunity to work and study in America. Biljana came to New York City in 2011 and in 2015 was accepted at LaGuardia Community College as a Business Administration major. During her studies, Biljana was diagnosed with stage one ovarian cancer and underwent two life-saving surgeries followed by conventional chemotherapy, all-the-while remaining dedicated to her educational studies - often times bringing her textbooks with her during her chemotherapy sessions. Now that Biljana has recovered, she’s been able to enroll at Baruch College where she was accepted at the Zicklin School of Business studying her combined interests: Industrial and Organizational Psychology. With the help of the Education Fund, Biljana can continue on her mission to help adults manage stress better and lead healthier lives.   “After I finish my studies, I plan to work full-time in psychology to focus on mental health issues, primarily post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. One of my long-term goals is to work for United Nations to help others with the necessary aid to resolve conflict worldwide to maintain international peace and security.” - Biljana Radojicic

Katie Salas

New York City Technical College

Growing up in a family of humble means, Katie's Mexican-born father and mother worked multiple jobs and her family lived hand to mouth. Katie spent the last 22 years in and out of college. After the death of her father in 1998, Katie started her first year of college; twenty years later, after supporting her mother who fell ill to Lyme disease and tragically passed away, Helen attempted to achieve her goal of completing her education. Determined to build a career that could help my family escape poverty, Katie moved to New York City in 2010 for a fresh start. Upon enrolling in an Algebra class after her mother's death, Katie found solace in math that she could never have believed possible. Katie is now a straight-A Honors student, enrolled full time and in the Peer Leaders Program. Katie is still working to put herself through college, and volunteering with her local Mutual Aid Society. Since returning to college, Katie has mastered the mathematics behind computing that once eluded her, and with the aid of our Education Fund vows to one day be able to complete her dream of earning a college degree, pursuing a career in Mathematics. "My future lies in exposing those inequalities and evaluating them ethically and passionately, through facts and figures." - Katie Salas

Growing up in a family of humble means, Katie's Mexican-born father and mother worked multiple jobs and her family lived hand to mouth. Katie spent the last 22 years in and out of college. After the death of her father in 1998, Katie started her first year of college; twenty years later, after supporting her mother who fell ill to Lyme disease and tragically passed away, Helen attempted to achieve her goal of completing her education. Determined to build a career that could help my family escape poverty, Katie moved to New York City in 2010 for a fresh start. Upon enrolling in an Algebra class after her mother's death, Katie found solace in math that she could never have believed possible. Katie is now a straight-A Honors student, enrolled full time and in the Peer Leaders Program. Katie is still working to put herself through college, and volunteering with her local Mutual Aid Society. Since returning to college, Katie has mastered the mathematics behind computing that once eluded her, and with the aid of our Education Fund vows to one day be able to complete her dream of earning a college degree, pursuing a career in Mathematics. "My future lies in exposing those inequalities and evaluating them ethically and passionately, through facts and figures." - Katie Salas

Helen Skipper

St. Francis College

Growing up in Queens Village, Helen, was a part of a family that uplifted knowledge and education. Helen’s mother, a schoolteacher, encouraged Helen and her siblings to enroll in higher education. Upon entering college, Helen fell victim to many of the pressures young adults face on campus - being introduced to drugs, Helen rarely attended classes, falling deeper into drug abuse. Helen lost jobs – sold drugs to support her habit, and caught her first crime at 18. A life of recidivism, homeless shelters, drug programs, and losing her children to the foster system ensued - until her early 40's. At 41, Helen found recovery and began to repair her life. In 2019, Helen realized that to be heard, validated, and affect change – she needed higher education. Helen completed the John Jay College Navigator Certification and afterwards, entered St. Francis College through the Post-Prison program, and she hasn’t looked back! Helen has maintained being on the Dean's List every semester, her GPA remaining between 3.875 to 4.0. Helen is the first Post-Prison student to be invited to the Honors class. Helen is also a Justice-in-Education Scholar at Columbia University, attending both schools and is on track for her doctorate in Criminology concentrating on convict criminology. With the aid of our Education Fund, Helen intends to sub-specialize in the traumatization of Women and girls and pursue her goals in prison reform, examining punitive vs. rehabilitative correctional systems and, hopefully, to research international systems such as the Norwegian and Swedish, where such rehabilitative methodologies have been implemented. “My career goal is to affect change, to inform and reform criminal justice policies and practices. I will not stop my educational journey until I have ascended to that elevation.” - Helen Skipper

Growing up in Queens Village, Helen, was a part of a family that uplifted knowledge and education. Helen’s mother, a schoolteacher, encouraged Helen and her siblings to enroll in higher education. Upon entering college, Helen fell victim to many of the pressures young adults face on campus - being introduced to drugs, Helen rarely attended classes, falling deeper into drug abuse. Helen lost jobs – sold drugs to support her habit, and caught her first crime at 18. A life of recidivism, homeless shelters, drug programs, and losing her children to the foster system ensued - until her early 40's. At 41, Helen found recovery and began to repair her life. In 2019, Helen realized that to be heard, validated, and affect change – she needed higher education. Helen completed the John Jay College Navigator Certification and afterwards, entered St. Francis College through the Post-Prison program, and she hasn’t looked back! Helen has maintained being on the Dean's List every semester, her GPA remaining between 3.875 to 4.0. Helen is the first Post-Prison student to be invited to the Honors class. Helen is also a Justice-in-Education Scholar at Columbia University, attending both schools and is on track for her doctorate in Criminology concentrating on convict criminology. With the aid of our Education Fund, Helen intends to sub-specialize in the traumatization of Women and girls and pursue her goals in prison reform, examining punitive vs. rehabilitative correctional systems and, hopefully, to research international systems such as the Norwegian and Swedish, where such rehabilitative methodologies have been implemented. “My career goal is to affect change, to inform and reform criminal justice policies and practices. I will not stop my educational journey until I have ascended to that elevation.” - Helen Skipper

Patriece Spann

CUNY Center for Worker Education

Patriece grew up the oldest of 4 children and the first in her family to pursue higher education, her mother doing her best to financially support Patriece’s dreams of graduating college, but, as a single parent among the working class, there wasn’t enough income to continuously pay tuition and take care of her siblings. In 2004 Patriece headed off to college filled with excitement and high expectations. Unfortunately, the financial burden of tuition forced Patriece to end her college career in 2006, facing a large amount of college debt. Although this came as a huge disappointment to Patriece, she knew she would never give up on her dream of becoming a successful college graduate. After working past her college debt from Fordham University, Patriece was able to enroll in City College of New York. In 2010 Patriece began working in early childhood education, primarily serving African American and Latin students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. As an educator, Patriece witnessed the inequalities these children face, the institutional racism that exists within our educational system and the biases educators and administrators have towards these children. These injustices have influenced Patriece’s career goals and motivated her to end the miseducation of children of color. Becoming an educator and providing students with access to a quality education, are at the core of Patriece’s goals. With the help of the Education Fund, Patriece will continue to grow and expand her skills as an educator by pursuing her masters degree in educational leadership, without facing the financial burdens that arise in higher education. "Taking on a leadership position within the educational system will allow me to be a part of creating a more equal and equitable educational system for whom the system was not designed, namely black and brown students.” - Patriece Spann

Patriece grew up the oldest of 4 children and the first in her family to pursue higher education, her mother doing her best to financially support Patriece’s dreams of graduating college, but, as a single parent among the working class, there wasn’t enough income to continuously pay tuition and take care of her siblings. In 2004 Patriece headed off to college filled with excitement and high expectations. Unfortunately, the financial burden of tuition forced Patriece to end her college career in 2006, facing a large amount of college debt. Although this came as a huge disappointment to Patriece, she knew she would never give up on her dream of becoming a successful college graduate. After working past her college debt from Fordham University, Patriece was able to enroll in City College of New York. In 2010 Patriece began working in early childhood education, primarily serving African American and Latin students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. As an educator, Patriece witnessed the inequalities these children face, the institutional racism that exists within our educational system and the biases educators and administrators have towards these children. These injustices have influenced Patriece’s career goals and motivated her to end the miseducation of children of color. Becoming an educator and providing students with access to a quality education, are at the core of Patriece’s goals. With the help of the Education Fund, Patriece will continue to grow and expand her skills as an educator by pursuing her masters degree in educational leadership, without facing the financial burdens that arise in higher education. "Taking on a leadership position within the educational system will allow me to be a part of creating a more equal and equitable educational system for whom the system was not designed, namely black and brown students.” - Patriece Spann

Doaa Yahia

Kingsborough Community College

Throughout her whole life, Doaa has always dreamt of making a difference in the world through a large medical platform. Doaa's dream of making a large impact through medical means started for her when she was a toddler seeing her father go through pain because of his medical conditions. Doaa made it a mission to become a doctor, so she can help people like her father return to good health. Before the death of her father, Doaa experienced a life-changing event that caused her to change her aspirations and goals. After becoming very ill and having a positive experience with a caring and attentive nurse, Doaa became highly interested in the nursing profession. After completing her high school degree, Doaa got married to her husband and after a few years she moved with him to America with their 2 children. Although she was focused on raising her children, Doaa's dream of becoming a nurse remained her passion. Once Doaa's oldest child became 12, she decided that it was time to finally accomplish her dream, leading her to Kingsborough Community College. Once Doaa completes her associate’s degree in nursing she will become a Registered Nurse. With the help of the Education Fund, Doaa intends on continuing her education, becoming a Registered Nurse and obtaining a master's degree. "I want to become an excellent and caring nurse and be the leader of all of the nurses in my hospital. After I reach my ultimate goal of being a Nurse practitioner, I will use my platform to share all of my experiences and morals to my peers, so I can try to make as many responsible and caring nurses as possible." Doaa Yahia

Throughout her whole life, Doaa has always dreamt of making a difference in the world through a large medical platform. Doaa's dream of making a large impact through medical means started for her when she was a toddler seeing her father go through pain because of his medical conditions. Doaa made it a mission to become a doctor, so she can help people like her father return to good health. Before the death of her father, Doaa experienced a life-changing event that caused her to change her aspirations and goals. After becoming very ill and having a positive experience with a caring and attentive nurse, Doaa became highly interested in the nursing profession. After completing her high school degree, Doaa got married to her husband and after a few years she moved with him to America with their 2 children. Although she was focused on raising her children, Doaa's dream of becoming a nurse remained her passion. Once Doaa's oldest child became 12, she decided that it was time to finally accomplish her dream, leading her to Kingsborough Community College. Once Doaa completes her associate’s degree in nursing she will become a Registered Nurse. With the help of the Education Fund, Doaa intends on continuing her education, becoming a Registered Nurse and obtaining a master's degree. "I want to become an excellent and caring nurse and be the leader of all of the nurses in my hospital. After I reach my ultimate goal of being a Nurse practitioner, I will use my platform to share all of my experiences and morals to my peers, so I can try to make as many responsible and caring nurses as possible." Doaa Yahia