Round Table Scholarships Equip Graduates to Pursue Lives of Purpose
FA Collegiate 2023 Round Table Scholars are headed to different colleges and pursuing different careers. Yet all five share a commitment to making our community – and world – a better place.
"Our scholars are making Trenton proud and proving that hard work pays off," said Foundation Academies CEO Sheria McRae. "I look forward to staying in touch and cheering them on as they achieve new milestones."
Round Table Scholars are selected based on applications, recommendations and interviews by a Friends of Foundation Academies committee. Round Table Scholarships provide $12,000 over four years to help offset college costs, which can total $500,000 for a bachelor’s degree considering student loan interest and loss of income.
Each Round Table Scholar is an outstanding student with the motivation, grit and agility needed for college success.
Alejandro Aponte will be attending the University of Richmond to study business and finance. In addition to playing volleyball and being a member of National Honor Society, Alejandro also invests time in community service, prepping and providing meals for those in need.
“Service is a very important thing to me because I enjoy giving back to my community,” he said. “ I love being there for people…Seeing smiles and hearing ‘thank you’ brings a smile to my face…”
Hafiza Malik, another National Honor Society member who also worked on the FA Collegiate yearbook staff, is headed to The College of New Jersey. Hafiza also values her time volunteering at Zubaida Foundation's Islamic Sunday School as a teacher assistant.
“I enjoy being around my Muslim community,” she said. “Visiting the mosque once a week truly keeps me grounded.”
Marleny Rodriguez describes herself as future-focused, persistent, and flexible. A member of the Teen Advisory Group for the Trenton Free Public Library, she will be attending Stockton University to become a social worker on her way to obtaining a graduate degree in psychology.
“My career goals are to begin as a social worker in Trenton to provide children with ways to overcome the struggles of their circumstances,” she said. “Then, I want to return to… become certified as a play therapist for young children, and eventually open my own practice. I would like to find a niche that would benefit my community.”
Xavier Smith, captain of both the FA varsity basketball and soccer teams, is headed to Rider University to pursue a career in the classroom – inspired by his volunteer work in the FA Middle School.
“Throughout high school,history has been a subject that just grabbed my attention,” he said. “I want to do the same, and inspire many students in the future when I'm a teacher.”
Deena Vicente-De Leon, our Class of 2023 valedictorian, will pursue a biology degree at The College of New Jersey. Active in UNITY, Poder, National Honor Society and yearbook, Deena’s career choice was inspired by her high school classes in anatomy and physiology.
“I want to become a medical examiner,” she said. “I feel that this career aligns perfectly with my interest in a life of learning and helping others.”
Donations to The Knight Fund provide FA graduates with scholarships, grants to cover college expenses, emergency funds, and mentoring to help them persist through college and on to lives of purpose. Please give today to support our scholars to and through college!