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Shalika Neelaveni


Freshman, University of Pennsylvania, Mechanical Engineering Student


Ms. Neelaveni graduated from Briar Woods High School, where she was active with the First Robotics Competition, Girls in STEM and the Girl Scouts’ STEM extra-curricular activities.  She co-founded Youth Adopt a Veteran, a nonprofit that seeks to reintegrate veterans back into society through education and employment opportunities. 


Ronald Ayers



Mr. Ayers graduated from Flint Hill School, where he was active with the Black Student Union, Varsity Basketball Team, and Lott Carey Youth Seminar. His future goal is to launch a non-profit mentorship program for youth.

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Jaylen Washington



Freshman, Howard University, Political Science


Ms. Washington graduated from Woodgrove High School.  Ms. Washington is a member of the National Honor Society, The Debate Honor Society, and the Modern Music Masters Honor Society.  She was a member of the Community Service Board for the Student Council and active with the Fine Arts Club.  Ms. Washington plans to pursue a career in the legal profession.

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Alanah Jackson



Freshman, Case Western Reserve University, Nursing and Spanish


Ms. Jackson was inducted into the National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, and the Tri-M Music Honor Society. She was a member of the Black Student Union and Habitat for Humanity. 

Ashanti Guyton

Teacher Grant Recipient


Ms. Guyton has been a special education educator for 15 years. She has taught diverse groups of students, including emotionally disabled students and autistic students with specific learning needs. As a lifelong learner, Ms. Guyton holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Special Education and a Master of Art in Severe Disabilities from Norfolk State University.  She also holds an Education Specialist Degree in Education Administration Leadership from Capella University.  She is a board-certified Behavior Analyst and maintains a certificate in Curriculum and Assessment and Integrating Technology in the Classroom, from Walden University. 


David Banks

Teacher Grant Recipient


David Jamaal Banks is an Elementary School Educator with Fairfax County Public Schools, where he focuses on early elementary instruction. He has been an educator for over ten years and has successfully implemented programs impacting hundreds of students from diverse communities. He is currently working with the third-grade team at Hollin Meadows Elementary School.  Mr. Banks received his Masters in Educational Leadership from George Mason University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Virginia State University.


Clare Idehen

Dr. LaToya Smith Scholarship Recipient


Ms. Idehen plans to pursue a career in primary care through Medicine-Pediatrics (Med-Peds) and incorporate tackling social determinants of health into her future practice.  As a fourth-year medical student at Morehouse School of Medicine, Ms. Idehen is focusing her career on addressing health equity issues.


Ms. Idehen graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Biological Science degree and a minor in Black Studies. A natural leader, she was involved with several social justice organizations to educate the campus community around mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline as they relate to funding for higher education.


As a medical student, Ms. Idehen has continued working on mass incarceration issues as the Program Director for Prison Praxis. This organization is building a network of healthcare students and professional support for incarcerated populations in the state of Georgia. Additionally, Ms. Idehen is involved with the Social Medicine Consortium, Health Students Taking Action Together (H-STAT) and the American Medical Association.

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