2019 Scholarship Winners

Meet the 2019 Project Fairness Scholars

Project Fairness selected its second class of Project Fairness scholars in August 2019.

The scholarships are awarded annually to current and former foster youth who are pursuing higher education. Project Fairness provides winners with up to $5,000 to support their participation in an educational program, and mentoring to help them achieve their academic and professional goals.


Lance Davis

Lance Davis is a sophomore at Hostos Community College, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He also works as a Youth Development Coach in New York City for the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, where he mentors youth aged 14-25 and facilitates support groups and trainings. Lance hopes to become a social worker and vocational coordinator for young adults who are at risk of homelessness and struggling to find employment. Upon successfully completing his bachelor’s degree, he will continue to pursue his education with a master’s in Social Work.

When Lance first started college he struggled. He was just transitioning out of foster care and had no guidance, and he was afraid to ask for help.  As a result, he became discouraged. Now, he has successfully transitioned out of foster care, is working a full time job, and is ready to challenge himself to achieve more. When he finds himself struggling now he can ask for help and seek support when needed. These are the things he models to the youth he works with. When Lance isn’t working or doing school work, he can be found in a shopping mall or at the gym. Lance enjoys staying fit and fashionable. His favorite line is: “When you look good, you feel good.”


Samantha Harmer

Samantha Harmer is a sophomore at the University of California San Diego pursuing a double major in political science and communications with a minor in human rights. Growing up in Utah in the foster care system she came to know first hand the importance of community, and the role that government programs play in the lives of disadvantaged youth. Since moving to San Diego, she has been active in organizations whose aim is to assist such youth in attaining a higher education and having the resources to build successful lives. Her goal is to graduate in four years, attend law school and subsequently work with nonprofit organizations, lawmakers and fellow citizens to reduce the stigma against disadvantaged youth and increase the opportunities available to them.


Angelique Salizan

Angelique Salizan is pursuing her masters degree at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. A native of Brentwood, New York, Angelique became a ward of the State of New York at the age of five years old due to her parents’ struggle with drug abuse. Unlike the thousands of youth aging out of care in New York annually, with little to no safety net, Angelique was able to pursue a degree in liberal arts and sciences at Sullivan County Community College. These combined experiences led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Binghamton University, which informed much of her advocacy and policy work since.

Angelique’s goal is to be a thought leader and political commentator. After completing her undergraduate studies, Angelique went on to participate in the Foster Youth Internship Program with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. As a part of that program she interned for Senator Ron Wyden and worked on child welfare issues, including drafting and publishing a policy report addressing educational inequities. Angelique went on to work under Senator Debbie Stabenow as a staff assistant, and most recently, as a Legislative Correspondent for Senator Sherrod Brown, working on policy issues related to education, civil rights, firearms, and social services. Angelique also worked as a part-time consultant for the Capacity Building Center for States, an initiative of the U.S. Children’s Bureau which aims to help build the capacity of child welfare agencies. For her masters program this semester, she will be conducting a fellowship at the City of Cleveland Department of Public Utilities, focusing on water equity issues.


Manuella Yushuvayeva

Manuella Yushuvayeva is a graduate student at the University of Southern California. She received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University and is continuing her education in social work at the graduate level. She will be interning with Los Angeles Police Department as a Victim Advocate within the domestic violence unit. Manuella plans to apply her knowledge to the police department, focusing on improving Victim Services and advocacy within the LAPD. 

Manuella is originally from Queens, NY and has always dreamed of moving to California and working within child welfare. She ultimately plans on working with youth in hopes of giving back to the foster care community that she comes from. She strongly identifies with the foster care community and has learned to take pride in her story. When Manuella is not busy writing papers or active in the field, she is in a quiet place near the water with a book in her hand.


Kobe Borden is a senior at the University of Maine majoring in Financial Economics. He has worked recently with several companies, including internships with Piper Sandler and Hearst Communications, and will be embarking on a financial services career post graduation. On campus, he is the Student Manager of the Black Bears’ Women’s Basketball team. He will graduate in December 2020.

Kobe has worked with various youth development nonprofits. Over the last five years, as an All Stars Project Alumnus and Community Volunteer, he has completed their youth development programs and helped support their independent fundraising efforts. His work on this included speaking at their Luncheon and Gala and volunteering at corporate events. He has also been a T-Howard Foundation Alumni Ambassador, a role that included recruiting students.The organization’s work is providing mentorship and career development work for minorities interested in the entertainment and media sector.  A resident of East Harlem, New York, Kobe is passionate about sports and traveling.

Micaela Garcia is a freshman at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is pursuing a degree in Political Science, and a minor degree in Journalism. Micaela recognizes how fortunate she is to have graduated high school and to be pursuing a higher education after having been in the foster care system. She enjoys participating in speech contests and has been the recipient of two speech awards. 

Micaela’s passion for journalism originated with her introduction to the prison system in California during a two-year research program at her high school. Conducting the research study through prisoner testimonies, Micaela developed a need to share people’s stories.  Micaela plans to become a journalist who can give a voice to marginalized communities within the United States, especially the incarcerated. 

Trina McCune is a freshman at the State University of New York at Canton, pursuing a major in law enforcement. She grew up in Brooklyn and has been in and out of the foster care system all of her life. She has been active in programs that help foster kids and shed light on what really goes on in the system, such as The Possibility Project, in which youth created a play explaining what they went through in foster care.

Trina’s goal is to graduate college in four years, get into the police academy, and become a hardworking police officer working for special victims. She wants to help decrease the amount of sexual abuse in this world and give these children and adults better lives where they can pursue their life goals.

Dante Meadows is a Senior at the University of Pittsburgh, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice with a concentration in corrections. He is thinking about working in a Federal Penitentiary as a correctional officer or somewhere else in the corrections field, such as being a counselor. This spring, he completed an internship with Adult Probation of Allegheny County. He also has training with the Hope of Learning program, which helps former inmates integrate back into the community. 

Dante’s decision to go down this career path was influenced by the fact he was in foster care between 15-17 years old. He has always seen corrections as a way for him to help people who have been part of the system, or just needed help. He wants to be able to help both juveniles and adults that are having troubles and find it hard to not stay incarcerated. He wants them to know he has been in their shoes before. When Dante is not working, studying, or sleeping, you can find him in the library reading whatever material he can get his hands on, or watching sports at home. He loves for people to open up and discuss whatever is on their mind without making them feel forced to do it.

Ana Quiñones is a senior at Hunter College CUNY, pursuing a major in sociology. As a kid, Ana had a huge desire to help others and teach. When she was growing up, she always wanted to be a teacher. But as soon as she entered the foster care system, Ana changed her mind and decided to be a social worker for children in foster care. Being in foster care has taught her many things, including the importance of advocating for yourself and being the change you wish to see in the world. 

Ana is very active in the foster care community and is a part of many different organizations. She runs her own Youth Advisory Board at her foster care agency, New Alternatives for Children (NAC). Her goal is to graduate next year, attend graduate school to obtain her Masters in Social Work, and work at her own foster care agency.

Lance Davis is a sophomore at Hostos Community College, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. He also works as a Youth Development Coach in New York City for the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, where he mentors youth aged 14-25 and facilitates support groups and trainings. Lance hopes to become a social worker and vocational coordinator for young adults who are at risk of homelessness and struggling to find employment. Upon successfully completing his bachelor’s degree, he will continue to pursue his education with a master’s in Social Work.

When Lance first started college he struggled. He was just transitioning out of foster care and had no guidance, and he was afraid to ask for help.  As a result, he became discouraged. Now, he has successfully transitioned out of foster care, is working a full time job, and is ready to challenge himself to achieve more. When he finds himself struggling now he can ask for help and seek support when needed. These are the things he models to the youth he works with. When Lance isn’t working or doing school work, he can be found in a shopping mall or at the gym. Lance enjoys staying fit and fashionable. His favorite line is: “When you look good, you feel good.”

Samantha Harmer is a sophomore at the University of California San Diego pursuing a double major in political science and communications with a minor in human rights. Growing up in Utah in the foster care system she came to know first hand the importance of community, and the role that government programs play in the lives of disadvantaged youth. Since moving to San Diego, she has been active in organizations whose aim is to assist such youth in attaining a higher education and having the resources to build successful lives. Her goal is to graduate in four years, attend law school and subsequently work with nonprofit organizations, lawmakers and fellow citizens to reduce the stigma against disadvantaged youth and increase the opportunities available to them.

Angelique Salizan is pursuing her masters degree at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. A native of Brentwood, New York, Angelique became a ward of the State of New York at the age of five years old due to her parents’ struggle with drug abuse. Unlike the thousands of youth aging out of care in New York annually, with little to no safety net, Angelique was able to pursue a degree in liberal arts and sciences at Sullivan County Community College. These combined experiences led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Binghamton University, which informed much of her advocacy and policy work since.

Angelique’s goal is to be a thought leader and political commentator. After completing her undergraduate studies, Angelique went on to participate in the Foster Youth Internship Program with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. As a part of that program she interned for Senator Ron Wyden and worked on child welfare issues, including drafting and publishing a policy report addressing educational inequities. Angelique went on to work under Senator Debbie Stabenow as a staff assistant, and most recently, as a Legislative Correspondent for Senator Sherrod Brown, working on policy issues related to education, civil rights, firearms, and social services. Angelique also worked as a part-time consultant for the Capacity Building Center for States, an initiative of the U.S. Children’s Bureau which aims to help build the capacity of child welfare agencies. For her masters program this semester, she will be conducting a fellowship at the City of Cleveland Department of Public Utilities, focusing on water equity issues.

Manuella Yushuvayeva is a graduate student at the University of Southern California. She received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University and is continuing her education in social work at the graduate level. She will be interning with Los Angeles Police Department as a Victim Advocate within the domestic violence unit. Manuella plans to apply her knowledge to the police department, focusing on improving Victim Services and advocacy within the LAPD. 

Manuella is originally from Queens, NY and has always dreamed of moving to California and working within child welfare. She ultimately plans on working with youth in hopes of giving back to the foster care community that she comes from. She strongly identifies with the foster care community and has learned to take pride in her story. When Manuella is not busy writing papers or active in the field, she is in a quiet place near the water with a book in her hand.

Rajiv Goswami is starting his sophomore year at Georgetown University as a projected Government major. His experience in the foster care system in New York City meant he was directly affected by politics and government, and he aims to navigate the political system to better the lives of future generations of foster youth. Rajiv’s ultimate career aspiration is being elected to Congress with the aim of uplifting marginalized and underserved youth including foster youth, undocumented youth, and youth from low-income backgrounds.

Rajiv faced challenges as a high school student from being in foster care for the last four years. The instability in housing often left him in homes that were distant from his magnet high school. Many foster homes did not have internet access or even computers, forcing Rajiv to maximize his phone and the limited library resources in order to access his email and online clouds where his teachers would upload homework assignments. When Rajiv isn’t doing his school work, he can be found jogging or playing tennis. His favorite tennis players include Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.