June 1, 2024


Past Recipients 


Lizbeth Ramirez

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Major: Economics

Minor: Business


Lizbeth Ramirez is a first-generation student who will be attending Vanderbilt University this fall. Lizbeth grew up in the Bronx with her two siblings, where she learned that battles are never fought alone. Seeing her neighborhood struggle with gentrification, she took action to help local small businesses.

She became a certified bookkeeper through the First Generation Entrepreneurs Internship at Columbia's Business School and gained marketing skills from an externship at Landor and Fitch. Lizbeth has since helped three small businesses with free bookkeeping and marketing services.

She also founded Future Funders, an organization dedicated to teaching financial literacy to students and families in underrepresented communities. Lizbeth collaborates with local schools to provide education on budgeting, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

Lizbeth plans to pursue a career in public finance, aiming to promote financial literacy in public schools. She seeks internships and research opportunities in college to further her understanding of financial management and policy development. Her ultimate goal is to establish a non-profit that supports financial literacy in gentrified communities, empowering others to achieve financial stability.


“I believe in my community, and it needs me. I want to continue amplifying the voices of small businesses. College will be a stepping stool to continue strengthening the work I have accomplished. With this scholarship, I dare to grow into a stronger leader while motivating and guiding others toward achieving a goal of prosperity.”

Areas of Interest: 

Business entrepreneurship, Education equity, Public Finance


Tasnim Khanom 

Pronouns: She/Her

Major: Political Science


My name is Tasnim, and I am a first-generation Bangladeshi woman attending Boston University, where I will be studying political science. I have always had a deep interest in politics and aspire to pursue a career in law or humanitarian work. I am passionate about understanding and addressing social issues, and I believe that my education at Boston University will provide me with the tools to make a meaningful impact.

In my free time, I love reading, and my current read is "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie—highly recommended! I also enjoy hanging out with friends and exploring new things. I'm excited for the journey ahead and grateful for the opportunities that lie before me.


"Higher education provides a pathway to opportunity, allowing people to pursue their passions and achieve their goals. It gives people access to resources, networks, and experiences that help them navigate and participate in an increasingly complicated environment. Furthermore, it fosters critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills that are necessary for personal and professional success.

Beyond academic performance, higher education promotes personal growth and development. It encourages people to confront their biases, broaden their viewpoints, and interact with different ideas and cultures. Higher education educates students to navigate and contribute to a varied and interconnected global society by encouraging empathy and creating inclusive environments."

Areas of Interest: 

Human Rights, Refugee and Asylum Seekers' Rights, Racial Justice


Nishat Hye 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Major: Nursing


Nishat Hye is entering her first year at St. John's University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She is a first-generation Bangladeshi-Muslim-American, holding the intersectionality of her identities near and dear to her heart.

Having the value of family ingrained in her from early on, through illness and prosperity, Nishat quickly realized how systems in place in America could be just as harmful as they are beneficial, especially to the undervalued and overlooked in our society. Whether through the United States' current healthcare system, with just 43.8% of physicians identifying as non-white and only 19.4% of RNs coming from minority backgrounds, or through the blatantly harmful acts of redlining, gentrification, and lack of environmental justice, she realized how pivotal the transition between high school to college to a career is for students like her and in becoming the change the world needs to see. 

Nishat is attending St. John's in hopes of becoming a nurse — realizing through her health struggles and education that the science of medicine feeds into the art of compassion, noting that a system without sympathy will continue to ignore the problems manifested by society's prejudices. As she embarks on her life in higher education, Nishat hopes to empower other young marginalized women to do the same, dismantle harmful stereotypes against her Bangladeshi-Muslim identity, and incorporate her marginalized experience into the picture.


"Growing up, I never knew what I wanted to do when I reached the point I am at today. Being a first-generation Bangladeshi-Muslim-American to my parents, who gave up their education early on to support their family, I felt that only being a doctor or engineer would step up to the sacrifices my parents' made to get us here. However, the pandemic got me thinking, and exposed me to a different field that truly does have my heart..."

Areas of Interest: 

Nursing, Climate Science, Sustainability


Michelle Neri 

Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

Major: Individualized Studies


Michelle Neri is an undergraduate student at New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Studies. Born and raised in New York City and whose family immigrated from Oaxaca, Mexico, Michelle identifies as a first-generation Indigenous person. They graduated as an Illustration major at The High School of Art and Design, and they identify as a non-binary person.


Michelle's Gallatin concentration combines several areas of studies that inspire and are of importance to them. Their concentration is titled Narrative and Representation in Visual Arts and Literature, which strives to develop stories through film, writing, and illustration that identify with a complex audience and bring inclusivity.


Although Michelle has lived in New York City their entire life and has not prominently experienced their family's cultural practices, they grew up in a diverse city that helped them discover and accept their identity. Michelle closely connects to their Indigenous identity despite being far from their parent's home and asks questions about revitalizing erased history. They hope their work and art will connect with youth discovering who they are and undergo educational journeys to understand their place in history.


"Arguably, the problem with storytelling is not its content but who tells it. That’s to say; there aren’t enough creators belonging to marginalized groups who get to tell their stories and go unheard. Even in fictional worlds where possibilities appear like manifestations, there are no traces of the dreams belonging to a marginalized identity.”

Areas of Interest: 

Visual Arts, Researching, Human Rights