Testimonials from Parents & Family Association Scholarship Recipients

"This scholarship has continued my journey to becoming a successful journalist and entrepreneur. Without it, I likely wouldn't even be at the University of Maryland, let alone thriving in this stimulating and inspiring environment. I am extremely grateful for the support of the Parents & Family Association. Thank you for believing in my goals and helping me to reach them. I will not let you down."

"I have always wanted to inspire disadvantaged children around the world, especially in Africa, where I am originally from. I made the choice to leave my lovely country, Cameroon, to settle down in the U.S for a while. I figured out that I had more opportunities in America and I also like to learn about new cultures and other aspects of life. Once I finish with my education, I plan to work to acquire a good and strong experience. I want to impact in the pace of technology and bring new ideas in developing countries around the world."

"I understand the importance of helping others because there were many others who helped me. I could never repay the donors for the money they have invested in me, but I can pay it forward to help others like me attend college."


About Past Scholars
2018-2019 MPFA Scholars

Julian Chiveral - Chatham Scholar
Julian Chiveral

Julian Chiveral is starting his third year at University of Maryland, pursuing degrees in mechanical engineering and mathematics with minors in sustainability studies and nuclear engineering. He is also in the University Honors program in the Honors College. He likes to stay involved on campus, exploring his interest in engineering, student development and civic engagement. He is a member of Engineers Without Borders on the Nicaragua team and a Resident Assistant in Hagerstown Hall, home to the University Honors program. He is also involved with the Residence Hall Association through which he represents the student body and create positive change on campus as a senator-at-large.

Mirinda Keane - Chatham Scholar

Mirinda Keane

Mirinda Keane is a senior at the University of Maryland studying public health science and is graduating in December 2018. On campus, Mirinda has served on the executive board for Nourish, a club dedicated to reducing poor birth outcomes in the surrounding community by donating groceries and corresponding recipes to mothers in need each week. She has also worked for Resident Life as a Community Assistant and loves being involved in on campus life. This summer, Mirinda is interning at Save the Children, where has been working on the Domestic Emergency Team, which supports children in times of disaster in the United States and educates on the importance of emergency preparedness. After her summer internship and graduation in the fall of 2018, Mirinda hopes to further her presence in the world of public health and make a difference for mothers and children across the globe.

Abishek Suresh - Chatham Scholar

Abishek Suresh

Abishek Suresh is a rising junior at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is from Frederick, MD and have been living in the state for about 6 years. He enjoys playing basketball, investing in stocks and cryptocurrency, reading the New York Times, and listening to pop music on Spotify. He is currently studying Finance and Information Systems at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, where he is involved in many academic-related clubs which help him focus on his ability to grow experiences and create opprotunites for connections and internships.He has the humble experience of doing abroad client work, where he was able to create a detailed RFP for a client in Uganda who has a developing business in the route app industry. Through this opportunity, his team and he were able to form cohesive ideas that allowed their client to improve his business processes and essentially decrease costs overtime. He is grateful to have received this scholarship award that will allow him to further enhance his education at the University of Maryland and make a positive difference in his community and more.

Cameron A. Taylor

Cameron Taylor

Cameron A. Taylor is a current junior pursuing major in Civil Engineering at the University of Maryland,College Park. While majoring in Civil Engineering, he plans on gaining a specialization in Structural Engineering. With his skills, he would like to design better emergency escape exits for high-rise buildings so the likelihood of fatalities can be reduced due to unforseen troubles. His insipiration to become a Civil Engineer was due to his inspiration to improve upon the world's existing infrastructure so that future generations can maintain modernization and success with their society.

Chioma Ahaghotu
Chioma Ahaghotu

Chioma Ahaghotu is a rising senior from Lanham, Maryland. She is pursuing a double major in Sociology and Communication.

Claire Jamison

Claire Jamison

Claire Jamison is a junior pursuing a major in Anthropology with a minor in International Development and Confilct Management at the University of Maryland, College Park. After graduating she intends to pursue a career in Historical Archaeology. Her specific interests in the field include observing what conflict looks like archaeologically in order to resolve modern day conflicts. Claire is also interested in historical medicine.

Elizabeth McClellan

Elizabeth McClellan

Ellie McClellan is from Somerset, Maryland. She is a junior studying Animal Sciences, and hopes to attend veterinary school after she graduate. Ellie spends her time on campus researching antibiotic resistance of infectious diseases, volunteering at the campus farm, and playing with dogs on McKeldin Mall!

Jordan Al-Faleh

Jordan Al-Faleh

Jordan Al-Faleh is a junior at University of Maryland currently enrolled in the Kinesiology program. She plans to finish her bachelors and continue on to the University of Maryland School of Medicine from there she would like to become an anesthesiologist. Her passions are volunteering throughout his different communities, animals, physical and mental health awareness, and figuring out new and exciting ways to incorporate all her passions together. 

Kamia McGuire

Kamia McGuire

Kamia McGuire is a fifth year senior Accounting and Management double major graduating Spring 2019. Originally from Baltimore, MD and an elder of four children, she plans to take the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) exam. Following the completion of her certification she wants to work for a public accounting firm in audit services where she’d dedicate approximately 5-10 years. Succeeding audit, Kamia plans to extend her career into forensic accounting where she will retire with hopes of starting a nonprofit providing financial literacy to impoverished single parent families in Baltimore, MD.

Michael Chidueme

Michael Chidueme

Michael Chidueme is a senior from Potomac,Maryland. He is pursuing a major in Neurobiology & Physiology and a minor in Global Poverty on the pre-med track. He is a graduate of the Life Sciences Scholars program. He is a member of the pre-med fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon and is a Peer Advisor on the Student Advisory Board for the Health Professions Advisory Office. He loves soccer, cooking, having deep talks about life and teaching science as a private tutor or teaching assistant. In the future, he aspires to be a cardiologist and work as a mentor for black youth in underserved communities.

Yana Kramarenko

Yana Kramarenko

Yana Kramarenko was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine. She moved to Maryland in 2009. She became interested in the criminal justice field after volunteering with the Montgomery County Post 1986. She is currently a student in the Criminology & Criminal Justice program at the University of Maryland. She anticipates to graduate in December 2018. This summer, Yana holds an internship with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. She is a part of the Center for Advanced Study of Language project where she develops a cybercrime course module. Recently, she has also completed the Interprofessional Fellowship Program at the Universities at Shady Grove with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. For the past three years, Yana has been working in the Asset Protection department at a local retailer, where her main job is to provide safety and security. Her long-term career goal is to work for the federal government where she can utilize her professional and academic knowledge in crime prevention, safety, and security to help combat threats made to the public and national security.

Krystle Foy

Krystle Foy

My name is Krystle Foy and I live in Severn, Maryland. I am heading into my senior year at the University of Maryland College of Education and will graduate with my Master’s degree in Elementary Special Education in the Spring of 2020. My journey began when I left a ten-year career in insurance sales to pursue a career in special education. My goal is to teach students with moderate to severe disabilities, either in a special needs school or a self-contained classroom within a general education school. My motivation to change careers comes from my personal experiences. My daughter is eight-years-old and dual diagnosed with Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder (DS-ASD). Since the day she was born, she continuously serves as my daily inspiration and motivation. I have become immersed in the world of “exceptionalities” and know that I have found my place in life. My goal is not only to earn my degree, but to achieve the highest level of academic success I possibly can, to make my daughter proud, and to make myself proud. I am a single mother and if it were not for the help of scholarship donors, I truly would not be able to achieve my goals. Words truly cannot express how grateful I am for the support that I have been given along my journey.


Darius Raye Williams

Darius Raye Williams

Darius Raye Williams is a 4th year student at the University of Maryland, College Park, studying Information Science. He is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and spent some time in school in the Norristown Area School District, but graduated from Lower Merion High School. His mother is originally from Barbados, West Indies and his father is from Mississippi. Darius is the youngest boy of 5 total children. He has recently embarked on a mission to become a Software Engineer while gaining some experience through an internship at Leidos, Inc. in Arlington, VA. Growing up he has always had such a yearning to learn and utilize the his skills and potential within the STEM field. He intended to become a chemical Engineer, but along the road transitioned into Information Science. Throughout his time working for the National Society of Black Engineers’ “Summer Engineering Experience for Kids” (SEEK) he has developed a strong love and respect for the STEM principles that were fed back into the underprivilegedcommunities the camps were located in.

Darius has dedicated a lot of time and energy into the UMD campus community. He is currentlyan RA in Hagerstown Hall and has previously worked as a Student Caller in the Tell-A-Terp Center. Darius has served on more than 3 executive boards including; Diazporic Dance Team, Black Engineers Society and The Caribbean Students Association. Darius was also the most recent recipient of the Elaine Johnson Involvement Award from the SSLC UMD organization. He also completed the College Park Media Scholars program during his first two years of undergrad. Darius hopes to make a positive impact in the world with his own business using his experience and knowledge of STEM to support those in need when he finishes school and has a few professional years under his belt.


Nana Afful

Nana Afful

Nana Afful is a Biological Sciences: Physiology and Neurobiology major from Gaithersburg who will be graduating in May of 2019 from and hopes to attend medical school in Maryland to achieve her goal of becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon. While at Montgomery College, Nana tutored at the Science Learning Center. She also worked with the head of the biology department at Montgomery College Germantown on identifying a new eye color in drosophila. Currently, she assists the University of Maryland-Insect Transformation Facility at the Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology Research. Additionally, she is a teaching assistant for Cell Biology and has served over 400 hours volunteering at Holy Cross Hospital assisting doctors and nurses.

When she is not working, she takes her disabled mother to physical therapy and assists her sister with her new business.


Morgan Castle

Morgan Castle

Morgan Castle is a junior at University of Maryland, College Park studying Information Science with a minor in ACES Honor Cybersecurity. She hopes to pursue a career at NSA and ideally start her own business in the cybersecurity field. She is also very passionate about traveling and would like to travel around the world after school to indulge in other cultures. She is a very hardworking and dedicated person and would love to use her skills and position to give back in any way possible to people in need. She enjoys hiking, reading, listening to music, and hanging out with friends. Her biggest motivator is her mother who has shown her where hard work and devotion can take you.

She is currently a Systems Engineer intern at Raytheon, an aerospace and defense company, where she is able to learn new skills and expand her knowledge in areas she has been exposed to and also get a taste of what she hopes to pursue after finishing school. She hopes to continue working part-time at Raytheon in the upcoming semester at UMD. She aspires to join more clubs and activities this semester like the newspaper club, an animal shelter, dance and potentially a technology sorority/fraternity.


Marion Marcelle Irvin

Marion Irion

Marion Irvin is a senior deitetics major from Cumberland,Maryland. Upon graduation, she hopes to be completing her residency for dietetics in the DC area and gain her RD credentials. Long term, here goal is to be in a clinical setting, while also working to increase preventative care in her country through nutrition.

2017-2018 MPFA Scholars

Chinemerem Akujobi

Chinemeren Akujobi

Chinemerem is from Long Island, New York and studies Family Science. She plans to pursue a career in integrative medicine and advocate for holistic health care centers

Francine Baker

Francine Baker

Francine is first-generation Jamaican-American student studying Public Health Science. Upon graduation, she plans to attend graduate school with hopes of studying the science that drives public health. Francine’s long-term career goal is to join the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service as a Science and Research Health Professions Officer. She also hope to return to University of Maryland as a faculty member.

Anna Bieganowska

Anna Bieganowska

Anna Bieganowska is a current junior pursuing a dual-degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology with a minor in Spanish. Currently, she is proud to serve on the University Student Judiciary, be a apart of the Honors Humanities program, and participate in Maryland’s marching band. Looking forward, she hopes to become an intelligence analyst for the FBI.

Aryssa Burrs

Aryssa Burrs

Aryssa Leigh Burrs, Mezzo-Soprano, is a Music Education: Choral/General and Vocal Performance student at the University of Maryland. She is a member and soloist of The University of Maryland Chamber Singers, who have performed concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. She was Music Director for Faux Paz, the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Champions of the International Championship of Collegiate A Capella. Aryssa’s recent performance credits include: The Wild Party (Kate).

Jochobed Cadet

Kachobed Cadet

Jochebed Cadet is a first-generation Haitian American from Beltsville, Maryland. She is a senior majoring in Sociology with minors in French Literature and Language as well as Professional Writing. After obtaining her Bachelor's degree, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Sociology and later work on conducting research that helps minority students with educational attainment and understanding how students shape their view of education. 

Danielle Cohen

Danielle Cohen

Danielle is a senior from Northborough, Massachusetts. She is double majoring in Mathematics on the Statistics Track and Economics and pursuing a career in actuarial science. 

John Foresman

John Foresman

John is a senior in the Robert H. Smith School of Business and studies Finance. He was originally born in Erie, Pennsylvania, but has spent most of his life in Ridgewood, NJ (25 minutes outside of NYC). After graduation, he plans to fulfill his Army ROTC obligation and become a second lieutenant in the United States Army. Down the road he would like to find work in the Investment Banking industry. 

Sarah Fry

Sarah Fry

Sarah is from Severn, Maryland and majors in Mathematics with a statistics track. Upon graduating, she plans to move to California and become an actuary. Pictured is the service dog she trained and recently adopted.

Tyra Hooper

Tyra Hooper

Tyra Hooper is a senior Community Health major and will be graduating this Fall 2017. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, she plans to return there post graduation and attend graduate school. She plans to attend a strong MPH program where she can study Public Health and Public Policy and help ensure communities are optimally healthy, domestically and at large. 

Joseph Horwitz

Joseph Howritz

Joseph Horwitz is a senior, Criminal Justice/Criminology major from Glenview, Illinois. He currently serves as a Student Police Aide with the University of Maryland Police Department with aspirations to work in federal law enforcement 

Julia Mikolajczak

Julia Mikolajczak

Julia is a second year student at UMD majoring in Criminal Justice/Criminology and minoring in Public Leadership and Global Poverty. She is in the University Honors and Beyond the Classroom programs, and is also a member of the Appellate Board in the University Student Judiciary. Originally from Niagara Falls, New York she plans to attend law school to pursue a career as an attorney or a judge after graduation.

Christopher Park

Christopher Park

Chris Park is a senior accounting and finance major. He grew up in Ellicott City, Maryland and attended Mt. Hebron High School. After graduation, he hopes to pass my CPA exam and work for a public accounting firm.

Milton Rivera-Ventura

Milton Rivera

Milton Rivera is from Rockville, MD. He is a junior majoring in architecture with a minor in Real Estate Development. After graduating undergrad he plans to go to graduate school and pursue his career in Real Estate.

Nishwath Samiya

Nishwath Samiya

Niswath is currently a senior majoring in Finance and Information Systems. She is from the College Park area. Her future plans include starting her own company that works with refugees and helps them resettle into society. 

Thalia Villatoro
Thalia Villatoro

Thalia Villatoro is from El Salvador and has been living in Washington, DC since the age of three. Thalia is currently in her last semester and majoring in Criminal Justice. She hopes to attend graduate school while working as a federal agent where she can make a positive impact by helping deter crime.

Christina Huynh

The University of Maryland
Division of Student Affairs ▪ Office of Development and External Relations
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sagiving@umd.edu ▪ (301) 314-4900