We are excited to announce the 2017 Scholarship Winner! This year’s scholarship goes to Mariah Comer, who is a recent graduate from UCLA and will be attending law school this fall. Here is an excerpt from her scholarship-winning essay:

While I was at UCLA, I realized the importance of not just trying to give back to the people who raised me, but to give back to the students who will come after me. Being one of the few Black students at UCLA, I knew I had to do my part in ensuring that young people of color were encouraged to pursue a college degree. More people of color need to be within higher education in order to move up to positions such as educators, lawyers, politicians, etc. I want to be an inspiration and give back to my community so more students of color will be able to attend higher education and know that they can and they will succeed.

To do this, I was involved in organizations such as the Higher Education Conference, JANRAH, and the VIP Scholars Program, which all aim to help high school students of color be able to pursue higher education. I mentored these students, gave presentations, hosted workshops, helped organize field trips to college campuses, and more to help these students realize that being a student of color and a first generation college student is something within their reach.