Justice High School Scholarship Fund Helps Launch Remarkable Careers
The biographies below introduce you to a selection of our past scholarship recipients. While each story is unique, read a few and you’ll notice they share common traits—challenging academic paths, careers that benefit society, and young adults giving back to their communities.
Ausan graduated from Stuart in 2009. In 2013, he earned a B.A. in Political Science from Virginia Tech. For the next four years, he was a Teach for America Corps member in Detroit and continued that work as a middle school English teacher in Philadelphia. In 2019, Ausan graduated with a M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He now serves as a National Security Legislative Correspondent for U.S. Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.
Liana moved from Honduras to the U.S. as a sixth grader and later graduated from Stuart with an International Baccalaureate degree. Upon graduating from George Mason University in 2009 with degrees in Philosophy and Spanish, she founded her own nonprofit, United for Social Justice. USJ’s mission is to give low-income and at-risk high school students access to higher education. In 2018, Liana graduated from the David A. Clarke School of Law in Washington, D.C. She passed the bar exam in 2018 and is now an associate attorney at Benach Collopy, where she practices immigration law. Liana has recently volunteered her time by going to the border as a supervising attorney to help refugees and appeared on Telemundo to talk about immigration.
Mahnoor graduated from Stuart in 2015 speaking three languages: English, Urdu/Hindi, and Spanish. With the assistance of multiple scholarships—including one from the Justice HS Scholarship Fund—she attended the University of Virginia, graduating in 2019 with a degree in Global Public Health and Bioethics. As an undergraduate student, Mahnoor’s volunteer activities included helping in oncology units at the UVA hospital. After graduation, she worked as a medical scribe in Northern Virginia and volunteered as a mentor for the organization United for Social Justice at Justice High School. (USJ is an organization that works to make college for first generation, low-income students more accessible.) In 2020, Mahnoor was accepted into medical school at VCOM (Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine) located in Blacksburg, Virginia, where she is a student today.
Mariam was two when her family arrived in the U.S. from the Ukraine. She graduated from Stuart in 2012 with an International Baccalaureate degree. In 2016, she earned a B.S. in International Business from The George Washington University. Mariam reports the scholarship from the JHSSF not only helped fund her education, but provided extra motivation to do well in school knowing that someone was willing to invest in her. Upon graduation, Mariam joined PwC’s Global Intelligence practice where she specializes in due diligence investigations and social media threat monitoring. In 2019, she was promoted to Senior Associate and transferred to the company’s office in Los Angeles, California.
Nebal, who identifies as genderqueer, graduated from Stuart in 2013 and then earned a bachelor’s degree in music composition from Lawrence University in Wisconsin. They are grateful their scholarship from the Justice HS Scholarship Fund helped them meet the substantial financial burden of attending Lawrence. After graduation, Nebal returned to Northern Virginia. Today, Nebal is composing full time, working on a piano sonata, a potential opera, and music in traditional Arabic Maqam style. During the pandemic, Nebal helped provide PPE to communities of color experiencing homelessness in New York.
Tijani arrived in the U.S. from Sierra Leone in 2005 and graduated from Justice High School in 2011. Four years later, he graduated with a degree in Global Affairs and a minor in Entrepreneurship Practice from George Mason University. He financed his college education with loans and scholarships—the largest scholarship coming from the JHSSF, which he credits with helping him get off to a good start. Tijani worked for four years at FACETS as a Senior Community Development Advocate and helped provide training, services, and case management for people—the majority being immigrants from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East—living in a Fairfax County public housing apartment complex. Tijani left FACETS to work as an investigator helping review applications for U.S. security clearances. In August 2020, he began graduate school at GMU, where he is enrolled into the Master of Public Health program. Tijani’s goal after graduate school is to work with either the CDC, USAID, or United Nations in the fight against infectious diseases.
William graduated from Stuart in 2011; four years later he left the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Architecture. His scholarship from the JHSSF was one of several that helped him pay his way through school. While in school he interned at an architectural firm in Chicago. William volunteered with multiple teams; one of his volunteer activities included him traveling to Nicaragua to design a primary school. William worked a few years on energy-efficient housing before working for the U.S. State Department, where he is an architect with the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations. He intends to pursue a Master’s degree in the design field.
Yong immigrated to the U.S. from China three months before starting Stuart High School. With assistance from the Justice HS Scholarship Fund she earned a degree at the University of Virginia. From there Yong went to the California Institute of Technology, where she earned a Master’s and (in June 2018) a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. While at Cal Tech she volunteered to help local underprivileged high school students. Today she works as a systems engineer for Northrup Grumman in San Diego, California, and provides volunteer administrative support at the Scripps Clinic at Rancho Bernardo.