Anisa Arrington | Kansas City, MO
Anisa Arrington willingly raises her hand to serve, freely accepts challenges when selected, and looks for opportunities to make life better for others. At the Pembroke Hill School, Anisa served as the President of the Black Student Union, where she helped provide a safe space for African American students to share experiences and honor their culture during a time of political unrest. She was selected by the principal to serve as a member of the Honor Council, where she listened to cases regarding student disciplinary action and made recommendations. Anisa is very passionate about helping others and giving back to her community. As a Link Crew Leader at her high school, Anisa worked with incoming freshmen to provide a safe and comfortable transition into high school. She also spent 13 years in Girl Scouts and earned the Girl Scouts Gold Award, which is the most prestigious award that a Girl Scout can earn. To earn her Gold Award, Anisa raised $17,000 for a local school in honor of her friend’s mom who taught there before she passed away. Anisa also has a love for sports and has run track since the seventh grade. In high school, she participated in track and soccer for all four years and was voted as captain for both sports teams. Anisa is excited to continue leading, serving, and growing while furthering her education in health and exercise science.
Jessica Cline | Cedar Rapids, IA
Jessica Cline’s sense of empathy and love of storytelling inspire her to use her varied talents to help others. As senior editor of her high school’s literary press, she was responsible for facilitating the selection of art, poetry, and prose while creating a positive experience for the editorial team. Jessica was a traveling team lead for the Iowa Skippers, Iowa’s only jump rope team and an affiliate of the American Heart Association, which provides an opportunity to teach children the importance of teamwork and raise heart health awareness. She was a member of the varsity women’s bowling team at her high school and is now a certified bowling coach. At Washington High School, Jessica was a member of the policy debate team, where she won several top-10 speaker awards and the state championship as both a junior and a senior. In keeping with her love of research, Jessica also participated in National History Day, earning several state titles and placing third in the national competition twice in the individual performance category. During her sophomore and junior year, she helped younger students create projects to compete in the middle school division of National History Day. Jessica also competed in the American Legion Oratorical Contest, finishing third in the state with her speeches about various aspects of the Constitution. Jessica is passionate about learning and gaining knowledge in order to serve as an advocate for others. She is currently a Presidential Scholar in debate and plans to pursue a career in constitutional law.
Alfredo Diaz | Miami, FL
Alfredo Diaz is resilient and always looking for ways to demonstrate servant leadership, which was instilled in him at an early age. Alfredo grew up in a very family-oriented community in Miami, which set the tone for the compassion that he feels for others. While volunteering with the Kino Border Institute, he was inspired after listening to countless stories of immigrants crossing the border to get into the United States. As a result, Alfredo and other committed classmates founded the Just Humanity Club at his high school to educate students and promote advocacy for immigrants and other underrepresented groups. Alfredo also began volunteering at the Cuban American Bar Association Pro Bono Office (CABA), which is one of the largest minority bar associations in Florida. Alfredo had one of his proudest moments at CABA after a prospective citizen, who he had tutored for several weeks, called him after passing his U.S. citizenship exam. Alfredo’s grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba, so he was proud and excited that he helped someone have the opportunity for a better life for their family, just as his grandparents did for him.Continuing to serve the community, Alfredo was selected to be the head student ambassador of the Miami Learning Experience, where he led a fundraiser that brought in a record $35,000 for students with varying developmental disabilities. The proceeds went towards a new classroom with updated technology for special needs students. Alfredo’s academic interests include math and science, and he enjoys analyzing data and findings. He plans to further his education in mathematical business and pursue a career in venture capital.
Mary Hauser | Kennebunk, ME
Mary Hauser, a Nancy Susan Reynolds Scholar, attributes her leadership skills to her dedication to learn, serve, and connect with others. While serving as president of her high school senate and a student representative for the School Board of Directors, Mary advocated for students and worked to resolve their issues. As president, Mary developed an anti-bullying campaign called the Spirit of KHS Campaign Pledge. She developed this pledge of kindness after noticing a rise in cyberbullying and wanted to create awareness and spread positivity. The majority of students at her high school signed the pledge, agreeing to spreading kindness instead of hate on social media. She also was the founder and president of Kennebunk Coffee House. The idea for this started in 8th grade when Mary developed a community service project for class. She decided to create a venue for students to gather to perform musical selections and socialize. She continued this project annually and opened it to the community. The project raised almost $2,000, and the proceeds were donated to Doctors Without Borders. Mary’s areas of interest include playing the trombone, boxing and chemistry. She served as president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, where she worked to strengthen music and arts in her community. She organized several community service projects and fundraisers and tutored elementary and middle school students. She also was the captain of the level 3 boxing team at Southern Maine Boxing Club. As captain, Mary assisted with coaching and mentoring junior members. What she enjoys most about boxing is the supportive team environment and the memorable relationships she built with her coaches and teammates. Mary was a member of the Kennebunk High School Science Club for all four years of high school. She credits her science teacher as her moral exemplar because she was kind, understanding, and dedicated to teaching. Mary is excited and grateful for the opportunity to continue developing her leadership skills at Wake Forest while engaging with a variety of disciplines and perspectives.
Janani Krishnakumar | Chapel Hill, NC
Janani Krishnakumar, a Graylyn Scholar, demonstrates her level of dedication to making a difference in the lives of others. Janani was a High School Summer Scholar with the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. While there, she was selected to attend the World Stem Cell Summit to give a presentation to her peers on musculoskeletal disorders. She is interested in regenerative medicine because she believes it is the key to helping heal patients from health-related problems. As a Community Lab Student Researcher at the Lemelson-MIT Program, she studied neurodegenerative diseases and designed a prosthetic to help patients with Parkinson’s disease. Janani was also a Computational Biology Summer Intern at the Renaissance Break Computing Institute, where she was selected to learn neural network programming in Python and assisted with cell counting and a 3D image rendering program. She received the Microsoft Technology Associate Certification in Python. While committing to serve students in her community, Janani was club leader of the Queer and Straight Alliance at her high school, where she planned events and created a safe space for students by promoting a sense of pride and unity. Some of her areas of interest include volunteering, science, and music. She coached tennis, basketball, and swimming for the Special Olympics for students with intellectual disabilities. Janani enjoyed coaching because she connected with the students and learned to be patient and how to communicate effectively. Janani plays the flute and was in the band and orchestra at her high school. Through the Afterschool Band Academy and peer tutoring, Janani coached students who could not afford private lessons. As a tutor and mentor, she encouraged students to participate in music and tutored them in science. Janani looks forward to studying biology and music and hopes to have a career in medicine or computational research.
Lydia Grace Logan | Alpharetta, GA
Lydia Grace Logan, a Stamps Scholarship recipient, is passionate about mentoring and empowering others around her. At Johns Creek High School, Lydia Grace founded the Ted-Ed Club, which was a club to help students develop their public speaking skills through writing and delivering speeches. Lydia Grace struggled with public speaking, so she wanted to provide a safe space where students could support one another as they developed their public speaking skills. During Lydia Grace’s freshman year, she developed a love for computer science. She served as the president of Girls Who Code Johns Creek, where she encouraged young women to get involved in technology and computer science, while teaching them the basics of programming. Lydia Grace was selected to be a part of the GladTech iSchool Initiative to help students and teachers with technology issues both in and outside of the classroom. During the summer, she was also selected to attend the Software Engineering Major Georgia Governor’s Honors Program. During this four-week program, she studied computer and software engineering and built and presented a final project. Lydia Grace was also on the Leadership Robotics Team at her high school, where she was selected by her teacher to test the effectiveness of using robotics to build a curriculum for students learning coding. As a hobby, she enjoys dancing because it allows her to express herself and decompress from everyday life. Lydia Grace is interested in pursuing her studies in biology and chemistry to become an orthopedic doctor, a dream that grew from the treatment she received by a doctor whose former dance career informed her outstanding care. She hopes to provide the same level of care to contribute to the holistic flourishing of her own patients one day.
Juan Londoño | Miami, FL
Juan Londoño, a Joseph G. Gordon Scholarship recipient, enjoys using his multifaceted experiences to create better opportunities for others and to cultivate his leadership skills. Juan was the co-founder and co-captain of his high school’s National High School Ethics Bowl competition team, which he developed after taking an ethics class his freshman year. This class inspired him to expand his way of thinking and appreciate others’ perspectives. During his senior year, Juan started his school’s Student Government Association and was elected president. Under his leadership, Juan wanted students to feel heard and know their concerns mattered. Juan was responsible for writing the constitution, planning events for the students, and acting as a liaison between the students and the school’s administration. At the end of his presidency, he left a “President’s Journal” for guidance and encouragement for the incoming president. One of his proudest accomplishments as president was leaving behind a fully independent and lasting student government that created opportunities for future generations of students to be represented and to represent their peers. As with his future endeavors, he hopes to have left his high school a better place than when he first started in it. Juan was also the co-director of International Advocacy for Zero Hour, an international non-profit organization that focuses on climate and environmental justice. He became interested in this organization because he wanted to bring awareness to the effects of climate change and promote climate justice for underrepresented communities. Looking for more opportunities to educate the community, Juan worked as a volunteer manager at the West Kendall Baptist Hospital. While working with the program director, he trained volunteers and worked on community events that focused on educating lower-income families about health. Following his love for biology, he also was an ADHD Research Fellow at the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Florida International University, where he studied how children’s brains develop. Juan plans to further his education in biology and psychology to become a physician.
Isabella Romine | Greensboro, NC
Isabella Romine strives to create an inclusive sense of community while being creative and committed to the people around her. Isabella participated in Girl Scouts for 13 years, became an ambassador, and won the Gold Award for her work with classmates and teachers from the Exceptional Children’s Occupational Course of Study to create a school-based enterprise program. This program developed into a student-run smoothie cart, where students gained valuable work experience and used the proceeds to buy new school supplies. Because Isabella loves creative writing, she co-founded and served as the editor-in-chief of her school’s literary magazine called Blue. She views creative writing as an outlet and wanted students to have a platform to share their work. After budget cuts due to the pandemic, Isabella raised money to self-publish Blue through a local bookstore and learned to hand-bind the 90-page books together. Isabella and her friend co-founded and designed an online student newspaper during the pandemic called the Grimsley Quaranzine, where students could connect and create a sense of togetherness during isolation. Isabella enjoys soccer and started playing at the age of four, empowering her to play for the varsity team all four years of high school. During her junior year, Isabella was elected captain of the team, and she emphasized creating a welcoming and encouraging team environment. Isabella is also passionate about studying foreign languages. She won the State Department’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth scholarship, which gave her the opportunity to study the Russian language in Chisinau, Moldova, for eight months. During her time there, she volunteered and helped Ukrainian refugees get the resources and supplies they needed during the war. Isabella plans to major in Russian or Philosophy and minor in Linguistics. She hopes to work abroad as a linguistic expert for the government.
Jeremiah Wilder | Frankfort, KY
Jeremiah Wilder’s enthusiasm for learning has made him the well-rounded student he is today. He lives by this mantra: “A day where nothing new is learned equates to a day lost.” During his senior year, Jeremiah was the captain of the Academic Team, a group of students who enjoy learning through academic test taking competitions, and finished in first place in Arts and Humanities testing. Jeremiah also served as a class representative for the Beta Club and was a member of the National Honors Society, in which he led service projects related to his multitude of interests. Jeremiah also has a love for math, and he believes that higher level math can be used to solve real world problems. While Jeremiah has a passion for learning, he also recognizes the importance of hard work and dedication. In high school, he worked as the lead to-go server and host at Longhorn Steakhouse. He describes his manager at this job as one of his exemplars because of his passion, loyalty and wisdom. To broaden his scope of knowledge, Jeremiah interned at the Kentucky House of Representatives, where he interacted with state representatives and learned more about the legislative process and functions of the state government. Following his internship, Jeremiah was elected to serve as vice president of the student council at his high school, where he organized meetings, facilitated communication to the student body, and planned school events. Jeremiahenjoyed serving the student body and planning events that brought everyone together in a meaningful way. Jeremiah is looking forward to being around other students who are motivated and excited to learn like himself, and to continuing to develop his knowledge to better the world around him.
Amaya Williams | Morrisville, NC
Amaya Williams, a Stamps Scholar, lives by the Muhammad Ali quote she grew up hearing from her mom: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Amaya learned the importance of community service at a young age by volunteering at homeless shelters and with her grandmother at Relay for Life, making and selling bedazzled flip flops to help raise money for breast cancer research. While Amaya was in high school, she co-founded the Two Steps Tutoring and Mentoring Club. She was inspired to start this club after hearing about younger students struggling in school during the pandemic. Amaya began tutoring and later started a club at her high school where students could tutor and mentor elementary students at Title 1 schools. She also served as a mentor on her cheerleading team, where she was a two-time regional cheerleading champion with Inspire Athletics. She is currently a member of the Wake Forest Cheerleading Coed Team. Amaya is passionate about service and has cultivated her leadership skills while serving others. She served as the Chair for the North Carolina State Youth Council, where she oversaw all teen councils across the state and planned annual conferences where all councils participated in local service projects. One of her proudest accomplishments was being elected Regional Teen Vice President of Jack and Jill of America Inc., which is a leadership organization of mothers who are invested in creating opportunities for their children to develop leadership skills and build character. When Amaya first became involved with Jack and Jill, she didn’t imagine herself running for a leadership position. After growing and maturing, she realized that she wanted to have an impact on making a difference. In her leadership role, Amaya assisted chapters with local service projects, held fundraisers, and hosted mental health panels to encourage mental health awareness. Amaya plans to major in biochemistry and minor in bioethics because she wants to improve health equity.
Jason Zhang | Lexington, KY
Jason Zhang, a Stamps Scholar, is curious and motivated to learn more about the world around him. Jason is very interested in numismatics, the study and collection of coins, leading him to found the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School Numismatics Club at his school. As the president of the club, Jason taught students about numismatic concepts and historical facts. Some of Jason’s other areas of interest include art, history, music, and computer science. Jason served as the co-president for the Cultural Society at his school,where he helped students research and learn about a variety of cultures to broaden their knowledge and understand different perspectives in the world. As a member of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Academic Team, Jason participated in academic quiz bowl competitions, specializing in the arts, humanities, and social studies. Jason is also passionate about music. He plays the piano and enjoys writing music and learning about music theory. Aside from his artistic skills, Jason enjoys analyzing and problem-solving. He was a member of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Computer Science Club, and he competed for gold in the USA Computing Olympiad competition. Jason also completed a graduate-level research project under professors from the University of Kentucky, where he used computer algorithms and statistical analysis to help physicians diagnose conditions. He hopes to further his education in computer science on a pre-med track.He is interested in pursuing a career as a research physician so that he can conduct research, teach, and treat patients.