Scholarship Judges

We are sponsoring the 2016 Project ASCEND Scholars Program which is a scholarship initiative that will provide five $1,000 college scholarships to disabled students living in the Washington, DC metropolitan area (i.e. Northern Virginia, District of Columbia and Maryland). This program is made possible by the Advocates in Disability Award Program, funded by The HSC Foundation and the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation.

Apply by October 1, 2015.

2016 Project ASCEND Scholars Program Application (PDF)

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2016 Project ASCEND Scholars Program Application (Word Doc)

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2016 Scholarship Judges

Angel Nonye-John

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Angel Nonye­-John is a junior at Carnegie Mellon University studying International Relations and
Politics. She is also pursuing minors in African and African American Studies and Hispanic
Studies. She is a research associate at the Center for International Relations and Politics and
works with minority recruitment in the Admissions Office at CMU. Angel Nonye-­John is also
serves as the President of the Young African Leaders Association on campus. In the community,
she tutors refugees and immigrants in ESL with FORGE and the Latino Family Center.


Carlos Arias

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Carlos Arias is a graduate student at the Johns Hopkins University studying Environmental Science and Epidemiology, specifically how diseases affect minority populations. He received his Bachelors degree from the University of Maryland, College Park in Sociology, with a concentration in health disparities and demography. He is currently a graduate assistant at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Education and works with recruitment in the Admissions and Registration Office. Carlos also volunteers for various non-profit organizations focusing on the rising Latino/Hispanic community in the DC metro area, as well as nationally, including: La Voz Latina Newspaper and Programa Salud. He is excited to advocate for Project Ascend’s already amazing work in providing necessary assistance to college bound students in his hometown of Washington, D.C.

Derrick Robinson

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As a native New Yorker growing up in East Harlem during arguably one of the most tumultuous periods in the city’s history, Derrick saw firsthand the deleterious effect living in and around abject poverty plays on the perception of one’s role in the world and their potential level of achievement. After college, armed with the belief that part of the governments role is to protect and help its citizens who are unable to help themselves, Derrick embarked on a journey in pursuit of a role in public service; landing at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and then the White House Office of Communications where he plays a role in helping disseminate the administrations policy objectives.  Derrick attributes his transition from Harlem to DC to mentors helping him at every step of the way, and understands that the pursuit of personal achievement means nothing if you are not using your talents to help the person standing beside you. He now gives back in varying capacities and is excited to contribute to Project Ascend’s work in providing financial assistance to low-income young women in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

Erika Estrada

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Erika L. Estrada is a born and raised Southern California. She takes much pride in her community and continuously works toward improvements in various public sectors. Being involved in the non-profit sector since the age of 17, she highly values the role of non-profit work. Educational and Health disparities have been a target of her work for the past several years. It is work she has engaged in via quantitative research as well as a social advocate. Currently, Erika works for Kaiser Permanente as a Research Associate in Downtown Pasadena, CA. As a researcher she is interested in how implicit class biases moderate the extent to which an individual’s socioeconomic status predicts health/educational outcomes. She believes it is key to further explore the relationships between socioeconomic status, implicit biases, immune system profiles, and ultimately health outcomes.

Glenda Staten

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Glenda Staten is the owner of Positivity Forever.  She wrote Make Positive Changes and Achieve Your Goals for teens and young adults.  The mini workbook focuses on knowing yourself, the courage to change, setting goals, friendship, and bullying. The workbook was selected as a gift bag product for the 2012 Adidas Candace Parker Basketball ProCamp, and the 2013 Academy Sports + Outdoors Kevin Durant Basketball ProCamp.Glenda enlisted in the Army after graduating from Albany Junior College in Albany Georgia.  While in the military, she worked for many organizations in the United States and abroad before retiring in 2004.  Glenda was the Acting First Sergeant at the National Defense University in Washington, DC.  She was commended for her service after working on the National Defense University’s Security Team during a visit from the President of the United States.  Glenda left the National Defense University to accept the Senior Non-commissioned Officer position for the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army at the Pentagon.  She completed her military career while assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Personnel Administration and Services Division. Glenda received her Master’s Degree in Management from City University of Seattle in Bellevue, Washington.

Kenn Campbell

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Kenn Campbell is a New York City-based public affairs and media consultant. A native of the New York City suburbs, Kenn launched his career as a community education advocate and lobbied local and state government officials to increase funding to underfunded and underrepresented communities. Since then he was worked with the White House, the Democratic National Committee, an award-winning production company, and various local and national political and advocacy campaigns. A trained mediator and experienced media professional, Kenn is driven by his goal of fostering stronger and more effective dialogue in a more empathetic and open world. He devotes much of his time to issues impacting youth, education and LGBT advocacy in across the U.S. and abroad.

Maurice Nick

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Maurice Nick is a Supply Chain Program Planner for one of the nation’s premier aerospace engineering companies, overseeing a 600 Million dollar business area. Maurice is currently obtaining his Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Supply Chain Management.  Maurice is currently obtaining his Master’s in business Administration with an extra focus on Strategy and a Master’s in Supply Chain.  He loves to travel and has worked and studied in nine countries in the last three years. He is heavily involved in media and politics in the Nations Capital; and is the Executive Editor of a digital magazine boosting 100,000 subscribers owned by The Washington Times, among other positions. Above all, he is a servant.

Sophia Cacciatore

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Sophia is a fourth year at the University of Florida studying Telecommunication Management with a minor in Leadership, and is a Gainesville native. She is involved on campus with organizations such as the Student Conduct Committee, Student Honor Code Administration, Model UN, Friends of Hands to Love, the Clinton Global Initiative University, and She’s the First. Sophia also has a passion for non profits and the services they provide for the community. Currently she works for Hands to Love, a non profit that provides resources and a camp for children with congenital upper limb differences, and in the past she has worked for The Fresh Air Fund in New York City. She is thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful organization such as Project ASCEND and holds educational issues close to her heart, which drives her towards a career in education advocacy.