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Are you looking to make a real impact in your community?
Are you ready to raise your voice along with an often invisible subgroup of youth?
Are you willing to stand in solidarity with youth experiencing homelessness?
Check out testimonials and highlights from past scholars, see all Alumni Scholars, and gain insight on Scholars in Service as you wait for the new program in Summer 2022!
School: Exeter (Sophomore)
Funds raised: $10,329
Why did you participate in the Scholars in Service Program?
I decided to participate because it was a unique chance to raise money and awareness for an organization that was doing so much good for homeless youth, while also giving me a personal opportunity to meet other students interested in service and learn from leaders in the field of homelessness. I got so much more out of this experience than I could have imagined though. We had the chance to meet and get to know residents at Covenant House. It was incredibly eye-opening to sit with someone similar in age to me, who was homeless and learn how they got there, and the traumas they had to overcome.
What challenged you the most about the program?
The biggest challenge of the program was hearing the stories of the adversities the kids had to endure. It was challenging but eye-opening. It challenged me to re-examine my own life and after this experience I am now more grateful for the things I have previously taken for granted, as simple as having my own suitcase or bag when I travel.
Lasting thoughts that Emily Grace would like to share:
Something that will forever be engrained in me is something I heard at one of the first meetings: “Homelessness is not a character trait. It is a condition or situation that one can overcome. It is not forever.” Covenant House is trying to make sure of this. They have a mission of rehabilitating every youth that walks into their shelter, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Whether this process takes just a day or two years.
School: Pace Academy (Senior)
Funds raised: $4,921
What are some key takeaways that you learned by participating in Scholars in Service?
I learned that homelessness is a condition. It’s a stage in someone’s life, not a personality trait. I learned about philanthropy not only on a personal and community scale, but also a larger, more corporate scale. I’ve learned how to give with grace. The biggest takeaway I learned is how fortunate I am.
How has the program changed you?
This program truly did change my daily mindset. While I was aware of how lucky I am, this program helped me to not only solidify that but to also think about every decision I make in a different way. This program helped me to realize my love of philanthropy and how I can use those new skills in my daily life, and into the future.
In your opinion, what was the best thing about the program?
There were so many great things about this program. From meeting new people my age who are inspired by the same things, to service projects so we are actively giving back, and of course raising money to support the Covenant House. All of these things allowed me to engage with my community in a way I never had before. However, the best things, and most impactful things, about the program were hearing from previously homeless teens not much older than myself. As well as seeing where the money we raised was going. The end celebration was a great way to circle back and remember why we did what we did. Watching the winner physically hand the check to a deserving member of the Covenant House was definitely the best part.
Maya Kaplan became interested in Covenant House when she participated in the student sleepout to raise awareness for youth experiencing homelessness during her sophomore year at Pace Academy. The next year she applied for and was selected into the Scholars in Service Program, where she interacted with the residents and was moved to action to help combat youth homelessness. With her partner, Spencyr Aronson, Maya set out to raise $15,000, but ended up raising over $50,000 to support the Covenant House’s mission.
Maya and Spencyr also launched a Post-Secondary Education Fund for Covenant House with the $2,500 Scholars in Service Award that they received in recognition of their service. This fund helps Covenant House youth access college, getting the opportunity to succeed and reach their full potentials. In addition to her work with the Covenant House, Maya also has worked with issues of diversity and inequality.
Through her leadership on Pace Academy’s Board of Diversity, she has used her position to propel engagement with issues of human and civil rights. She was selected to participate in the National Student Diversity Leadership Conference in Nashville. Maya has additionally interned with the Center for Civil and Human Rights where she connected with many non-profits in an effort to learn about various needs and issues around Atlanta.
Spencyr Aronson is passionately committed to working to achieve her potential academically and through volunteering and fundraising within the Atlanta charitable community.
In 2018, Spencyr became a philanthropic leader in our community by raising over $75,000 last year for Atlanta based charities, including Covenant House Georgia, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. With close friend Maya Kaplan’s help, the two raised over $50,000 for Covenant House Georgia, being named the Scholars in Service top fundraisers and directly supported Covenant House’s mission: ending youth homelessness.
Maya and Spencyr also launched a Post-Secondary Education Fund for the Covenant House with the $2,500 Scholars in Service Award that they received in recognition of their service. This fund helps Covenant House youth access college, getting the opportunity to succeed and reach their full potentials.
During her senior year at Pace Academy, Spencyr went on to be a part of the student sleepout, continue multiple leadership roles at Pace Academy, and participate in the 2019 Cohort of Scholars in Service. Spencyr is humbled to receive the 2018 recognition, but was more interested in calling on everyone to do their part to help those less fortunate than themselves.
Samantha Delman - Pace Academy
Alexander Fleming - Lithia Springs High School
Mathews Fluker - Riverwood International Charter School
Jacob Forsman - Decatur High School
Emily Fuller - Holy Innocents' Episcopal School
Isiah Hill Jr - McNair Senior High
Trevor Kosloski - Riverwood International Charter School
Katie Little - Holy Innocents' Episcopal School
Aidan Maestas - Wheeler High School
Margaret McClatchey - Westminster
Garrett McGraw - Holy Innocents' Episcopal School
Mya Millines - Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School
Olivia Morana - Marist School
Caroline Singleton - Pace Academy
Sarah Street - Westminster
Bennett Taylor - Walton High School
Penn Worden - Campbell High School
Spencyr Aronson - Pace Academy
Maya Kaplan - Pace Academy
Maggie Wolfe - Hillgrove High School
Olivia Arnold - Holy Spirit Preparatory School
Danielle Milburn - North Atlanta High School
Phillip Metzheiser - Westminster
Megan Erbey - Milton High School
Khadijat Kokumo - North Atlanta High School
Ellis Prigge - The Lovett School
Cameron Cooper - Mundy's Mill High School
Sally Stuart - Holy Innocents' Episcopal School
Narvaez Stinson II - Riverwood International Charter School
Slate Fluker - Riverwood International Charter School
Samantha Huray - Grady High School
Jenny Chen - The Lovett School
Kai Lacefield - The Lovett School
Angelina Fusto - Brandon Hall
Rachel-Kate Bowdler - Grady High School
Lauren Thomas - Woodward Academy
Kavya Venkateswaran - Northview High School
Chase DeLoach - North Atlanta High School
Lynn Hayes - DeKalb School of the Arts
Ameah Richardson - Grady High School
Aniceah Leaks - South Atlanta High School
Gabriella Batista - North Cobb High School
Isabella Cole - Crossroads Christian Academy
Dionte Frost - Kipp Atlanta Collegiate
Koluchi Odiegwu - Maynard Holbrook Jackson High school
Damilola Oke - Campbell High School
DeAisa Sutton - Booker T Washington
Nicole Adegoke - Holy Innocent's High School
Spencyr Aronson - Pace Academy
Jade Ashmead - Henry W. Grady High School
Avani Franklin - Brandon Hall School
Mac Harlow - Holy Spirit Preparatory
Mei Mei Hawkins - Westminster
Taylor Jordan - Chamblee Charter High School
Rachael Kimani - Walton High School
Stephanie Martinez - Marietta High School
Alani Pace - Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts
Alex Ribic - Marist School
Micah Rodman - Roswell High School
Kara Stevens - Westminster
Kendyl Taylor - Pebblebrook High School
Cameron White - North Atlanta High School
Jada Wright - Lovejoy High School
Oluwadasola Abatan - Elite Scholars Academy
Nicole Adegoke - Holy Innocents' Episcopal School
Precious Amegawovor - Elite Scholars Academy
Eddi Aronson - Pace Academy
Wyatt Banks - Marist School
Lalani Bonner - Elite Scholars Academy
Allie Campbell - Pace Academy
Elizabeth Curvin - Marist School
Jovita Enriquez - Chamblee Charter High School
Brooklyn Freeman - Cedar Grove High School
MaKayla Gilner - Dutchtown High School
Subah Haque - Chamblee Charter High School
Jaiden Harris - Sandy Creek High School
Amalia Haviv - Pace Academy
Virginia Hernandez - Westminster
Hannah Imolode - Elite Scholars Academy
Eddison Knox - Forsyth Central High School
Anand Krishnan - North Gwinnett High School
Trinity Lester - Hillgrove High School
Dave Loisir - Tucker High School
Elisa Louis - Elite Scholars Academy
Larenzo Manuel - Hillgrove High School
Tatum Marmins - Campbell High School
William McCurdy - Lovejoy High School
Malika Menchion - Lovejoy High School
Hawaii Nguyen - Elite Scholars Academy
Ify Obianwu - Pebblebrook High School
Sincere Perkins - Forest Park High School
TJ Robinson - Charles R Drew High School
Haley Robinson - Holy Innocents' Episcopal School
Aaditya Saha - Chamblee Charter High School
Tanisha Singhal - Alpharetta High School
Qahir Smith - Brookwood High School
Alexandra Sreng - Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts
Kara Stevens - Westminster
Kayla Stokes - Martha Ellen Stilwell School of the Arts
Mason Strang - Wesleyan School
Shreya Sunil - Alpharetta High School
JaDen Terrell - Elite Scholars Academy
Harrison Vassar - North Atlanta High School
Sophia Wang - Chamblee Charter High School
Shalyn Williams - Elite Scholars Academy
Josephine Williams - Atlanta Classical Academy
Sade Wright - Charles R Drew High School