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.