The Project Fairness scholarships are awarded annually to current and former foster youth who are pursuing higher education. The winners receive financial support to participate in an educational program, and mentoring to help them achieve their academic and professional goals.
The 2020 Project Fairness scholars were selected from a large and competitive pool of applicants, and distinguished themselves for their leadership, resilience and commitment to helping others.
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.
Project Fairness awarded its scholarships through detailed evaluation process conducted with a panel of advisors who work in the foster care field.
All applications are evaluated by the Project Fairness board, whose members scored the applications individually and selected finalists based on assessment averages and consensus voting. The finalists’ applications were then scored by a panel of advisors who work in the foster care field, and each finalist was interviewed by members of the Project Fairness board. Winners were selected on the basis of the top average scores from advisors and Project Fairness board members, combined and weighted equally, as well as to finalists who distinguished themselves during the interview process.