2020 Scholarship Cycle

Shattering Glass Ceilings Scholarship is pleased to announce the winners of our 2020 scholarships. We awarded scholarships to 20 women who are all first-generation college students. Of these women, 40% live in economically distressed areas and 20% have immigrated to America. Each recipient received up to $1000 in scholarship aid, which was sent directly to the institution of higher learning to offset loans or direct tuition payments made by the student.

Shattering Glass Ceilings Scholarship’s 2020 Recipients

Leyla AlIbrahimi

Age: 18
Where Leyla grew up: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Where Leyla now lives: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Leyla’s college and academic year: Westminster College, freshman
Area of study: Computer Information Systems (CIS)
Why Leyla is pursuing a post-secondary education: “I’m pursuing a post secondary education because not only do I enjoy learning, but a college education is one of the primary building blocks for a successful career.”

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Albania Andrade

Age: 19
Where Albania grew up: Kansas City, Kansas
Where Albania now lives: Kansas City, Kansas
Albania’s college and academic year: University of Missouri-Kansas City, Sophomore
Area of study: Biology (Major), Spanish (Minor)
Why Albania is pursuing a post-secondary education: “I want to become a physician and be able to help others as well as help my community. I want to inspire them to know that anything is possible. Education is very important to my family and me. It is a way to be able to pursue a career of my choice.”

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Maimouna Coulibaly

Age: 28
Where Maimouna grew up: Mali, Bamako
Where Maimouna now lives: Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
Maimouna’s college and academic year: Temple University, College of Education and Human Development, Second Year
Area of study: Counseling Psychology, M.Ed.
Why Maimouna is pursuing a post-secondary education: “Having a post-secondary education will allow me to help people in my community and throughout the United States. Also, I want to make a difference in my community. I want to lead by example, demonstrating to young boys and girls like myself, that even though you weren’t born and/or raised in this country, you can achieve your dream and beyond.”

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Astrid Diaz

Age: 26
Where Astrid grew up: Rockville, Maryland
Where Astrid now lives: Chevy Chase, Maryland
Astrid’s college and academic year: Howard University School of Law, Second Year, Class of 2022
Area of study: Law
Why Astrid is pursuing a post-secondary education: “I am pursuing a Juris Doctor so that I can advocate for and empower immigrant communities and provide legal support to the immigrant rights movement as an immigration attorney.”

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Iveshia Ford

Age: 25
Where Iveshia grew up: Amelia, Virginia
Where Iveshia now lives: Newark, Delaware
Iveshia’s college and academic year: Arcadia University- 1st year Masters student, Class of 2022
Area of study: Master of Medical Science, Physician Assistant Studies
Why Iveshia is pursuing a post-secondary education: “As a physician assistant student, I look forward to positively impacting the lives of children and people in underserved communities, particularly rural communities like my hometown. As a first-generation college student (and now graduate student), I don’t take any of my educational experiences for granted. I want to give back and be a mentor to those who follow in my path.”

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Gisselt Gomez

Age: 23
Where Gisselt grew up: McAllen, Texas
Where Gisselt now lives: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Gisselt’s college and academic year: Carnegie Mellon University, B.A. 2020, M.S. 2022
Area of study: Bachelor of Arts in Architecture, Minor in Politics and Public Policy; Master of Science in Public Policy and Management, Concentration in Smart Communities
Why Gisselt is pursuing a post-secondary education: Higher education is passion in action. Carnegie Mellon has provided me an avenue to pursue my passion for urban analytics and public policy, as well as granted me a multitude of opportunities for my personal growth and professional development.”

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Jamie Helberg

Age: 22
Where Jamie grew up: Los Angeles, California
Where Jamie now lives: Los Angeles, California (remote for CMU in Pittsburgh)
Jamie’s college and academic year: Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz College (First Year Master’s Student)
Area of study: Public Policy & Management
Why Jamie is pursuing a post-secondary education: “My family sacrificed so much of themselves to get me across the finish line with college. Upon graduating, I realized my bachelor’s degree was more of a baton to continue my academic growth. As the product of my parents’ hard work, I know I am capable of continuing this marathon, driving me to enroll in graduate school.”

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Yuehan (Coco) Liu

Age: 22
Where Coco grew up: China
Where Coco now lives: Hamilton, New York
Coco’s college and academic year: Colgate University, Junior
Area of study: Economics and International Relations
Why Coco is pursuing a post-secondary education: “I am pursuing a post-secondary education to find out what I want to do and who I want to become in the future. I want to become knowledgeable in the academic fields that I love—Economics and International Relations—and learn from the best. I want to become a responsible critical thinker who adds value to every debate and conversation. I want to nurture life-long friendships with students from different backgrounds who share the same vision for the world. Finally, I want to find a good job to provide a better life for the people I love.”

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Autumn Locken

Age: 20
Where Autumn grew up: Aurora, Minnesota
Where Autumn now lives: Northfield, Minnesota
Autumn’s college and academic year: St. Olaf College, Junior
Area of study: Nursing
Why Autumn is pursuing a post-secondary education: “I am pursuing my post-secondary education as an RN because the health profession with the emotional aspect really interested me. I also wanted to explore college and have that experience, especially because no one in my family has experienced it. The opportunity of college has also brought me out to explore other cultures and other experiences such as studying abroad. It really opened up another part of my life and I am so excited to see where it will bring me.”

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DaVon Maddox

Age: 23
Where DaVon grew up: Richmond, Virginia
Where DaVon now lives: Athens, Georgia
DaVon’s college and academic year: University of Georgia School of Law, Second Year
Area of study: Law, Family and Juvenile Law
Why DaVon is pursuing a post-secondary education: “It has been my dream to be a lawyer since I was in elementary school. I want to focus on juvenile law specifically because it will allow me to make such large impact on a very impressionable population. Juvenile law includes anything from juvenile delinquency to custody and adoptions. It’s a very lifechanging field of law to work in.”

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Jasmin Martinez

Age: 19
Where Jasmin grew up: Annandale, Virginia
Where Jasmin now lives: Williamsburg, Virginia
Jasmin’s college and academic year: College of William & Mary, Sophomore, Class of 2023
Area of study: Biology; minor in Kinesiology
Why Jasmin is pursuing a post-secondary education: “According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the Latinx community is the least likely to receive preventive care and more likely to have chronic diseases. I aspire to increase access to the healthcare system in order to give the low-income Latinx community and other POC communities quality preventative care. The first step in doing this is pursuing a post-secondary education.”

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Katherine Martinez

Age: 18
Where Katherine grew up: Chicago, Illinois
Where Katherine now lives: Chicago, Illinois/Hamilton, New York
Katherine’s college and academic year: Colgate University, Freshman
Area of study: Psychology
Why Katherine is pursuing a post-secondary education: “Why I’m pursuing a post-secondary education: As a young boy my father wished to grow up and become a teacher but was born in a community where you were expected to work instead of getting an education. Wanting his children to grow up in a different environment he and my mother left everything they knew behind and moved to the U.S.. I’m pursuing a post secondary education to keep my father’s dream alive and reassure my parents that their sacrifices weren’t taken for granted.”

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Ariacna Martinez-Andrade

Age: 19
Where Ariacna grew up: Kansas City, Kansas
Where Ariacna now lives: Kansas City, Kansas
Ariacna’s college and academic year: University of Missouri Kansas City, Freshman (Class of 2024)
Area of study: Psychology (major), Spanish (minor)
Why Ariacna is pursuing a post-secondary education: “I believe that education truly will lead me to success and allow me to help my community, just the same way that they have helped me. I want to give my family and myself a better tomorrow and believe that post-secondary education is a step closer to achieving this goal.”

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Rachel Moreno

Age: 24
Where Rachel grew up: Kansas City, Kansas
Where Rachel now lives: Kansas City, Kansas
Rachel’s college and academic year: University Missouri-Kansas City, Senior
Area of study: History and Sociology
Why Rachel is pursuing a post-secondary education: “I am pursuing a post-secondary education because including the voices of POC in academia is important in breaking down racial inequality. Higher education is a legitimate platform from where ideas by POC will be taken seriously. I want to be a part of that and I want others like me to be a part of that.”

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Stella Oguntayo

Age: 21
Where Stella grew up: Born in Nigeria, raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Where Stella now lives: Baltimore, Maryland
Stella’s college and academic year: Baltimore Community College
Area of study: Political science/ International Relations
Why Stella is pursuing a post-secondary education: “Being the  first-generation college student in the family is my motivation to keep going and be able to make my family proud. I also want to make a difference in the world.”

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Geneve Pierre

Age: 19
Where Geneve grew up: Miramar, Florida
Where Geneve now lives: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Geneve’s college and academic year: Florida State University, Junior
Area of study: Family and Child Sciences
Why Geneve is pursuing a post-secondary education: I am working to become a Mental Health Counselor.”

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Brenda Robinson

Age: 18
Where Brenda grew up: Overland Park, Kansas
Where Brenda now lives: Kansas City, Missouri
Brenda’s college and academic year: University of Missouri – Kansas City, Freshman
Area of study: Biology (Health & Disease Emphasis) and Business Administration (Entrepreneurship Emphasis), Chemistry (Minor)
Why Brenda is pursuing a post-secondary education: “I’m pursuing a post-secondary education because I want to pursue a career in medicine. I want to change the stigma around POC and women having careers in the STEM industry so that I can not only help my future patients but also inspire the next generation of people like me to reach for there dreams.”

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Jayla Thomas

Age: 18
Where Jayla grew up: Jacksonville, Florida
Where Jayla now lives: Tallahassee, Florida
Jayla’s college and academic year: Florida State University
Area of study: Public Health and Biology
Why Jayla is pursuing a post-secondary education: “Collegiate education is the first stage in my long, but fruitful career in medicine. I want to give myself the future that my grandparents could only dream about.”

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Brenasia Ward-Caldwell

Age: 25
Where Brenasia grew up: Baltimore, Maryland
Where Brenasia now lives: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Brenasia’s college and academic year: Carnegie Mellon University, first year of graduate school
Area of study: Master of Science in Information Technology, with a focus in Information Security and Assurance
Why Brenasia is pursuing a post-secondary education: “I am pursuing a post-secondary education because I want to advance in the security world. I have been working for a little over three years, and I’d like to apply the knowledge that I have gained into moving into the security field. I also am a person who loves to learn and I really enjoy the classroom setting. When you are in technology, you are a lifelong learner.”

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Genesis Zuniga

Age: 20
Where Genesis grew up: Lafayette, Louisiana
Where Genesis now lives: Kansas City, Kansas
Genesis’s college and academic year: University of Missouri-Kansas City, Junior
Area of study: Elementary Education
Why Genesis is pursuing a post-secondary education: “I am passionate about becoming a teacher and teaching at underserved elementary schools with a need for future educators like me.”

Read more about Genesis