YES Scholars in Action: Willy's Story


Tanya (UC Irvine ‘18)

While a student at UC Irvine, Tanya discovered her passion for human rights, law and advocacy. She studied abroad in Spain and Thailand, working with the European Union, United Nations, and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. After graduating with a degree in Global/International Studies and Political Science, she moved to Washington DC to work as a Policy and Legislative Intern with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the oldest and largest civil rights organization for Latinos.

In her current role as Programs Coordinator, Tanya creates and executes LULAC's Health, Immigration, and Social Innovation programs, as well as managing LULAC'S COVID-19 financial relief efforts. Last year, she coordinated 60 lobby visits for the 2019 Emerge Latino Conference Advocacy Day, creating enormous impact for student leaders and young activists across the US.

Quinton (Duke ‘21)

A Computer Science major and recipient of Duke’s prestigious 4-year Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholarship, Quinton spent the last two summers interning at Google headquarters as part of their highly competitive Engineering Practicum program. He worked with Google’s GMail Intelligence Team and developed his own feature for GMail Android. Quinton recently accepted a full-time offer from Google in Software Development that will commence upon his spring graduation from Duke. He is also a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, and Duke for Cube Entrepreneurship Group. During college, he spent six weeks at Duke Pratt in Costa Rica, an engineering program focused on fundamental concepts in engineering, as well as social, cultural, and environmental issues in Costa Rica.

Kelly (UPenn ‘22)

A Bioengineering major, this summer Kelly conducted research at the University of Virginia to address Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a fatal genetic disorder. The project examined the effects of spatial arrangement of adipose tissue on mechanical and functional properties of muscle by creating a 3D finite element (FE) model of a simplified muscle in active contraction. She has submitted her work to the 2020 Biomedical Engineering Conference. Kelly hopes to pursue a PhD and career in pediatric orthopedics, with a special focus on muscular dystrophies. Within that field, she aspires to work on computational models to better understand these conditions, develop treatment options, and create medical devices to assist patients.

She recently accepted an internship for Summer 2021 at Fortune 500 company Accenture.

Fatoumata (Spelman University ‘20)

Fatoumata’s experience growing up in the West African country of Guinea inspired her passion to improve global healthcare for women. A senior Health Science major (with a minor in Comparative Women's Studies), she is a member of the Health Careers Program and Undergraduate Health Sciences Academy at Morehouse School of Medicine—a program dedicated to exposing students of color to medical careers. This summer, Fatou participated in UPenn’s Undergraduate Minority Research Program, exploring the effectiveness of a Lung Cancer Screening (LCS) patient navigation system. She is a member of the Lady Buds Organization, helping local at-risk girls grow into well-rounded young women and become change agents in society. She is also lead mentee of “Let’s Do Brunch," a nonprofit dedicated to empowering women of color.

After graduating this winter, Fatou plans to pursue a MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology with the goal of opening a medical clinic to provide women with socio-economic and socio-emotional support.

Luis (UCLA School of Dentistry ‘19)

Luis graduated from the UCLA School of Dentistry, and recently completed the AEGD Residency, a one-year post-grad training and certificate program with an emphasis in clinical restorative and surgical dentistry. The residency is for highly motivated dental school graduates who seek additional intensive training in treating complex and comprehensive cases. Luis was Chapter President of UCLA’s Hispanic Dental Association, and volunteered throughout dental school at clinics across Los Angeles to provide low-cost dental care in underserved communities.

Sonia (Stanford ‘18)

While a student at Marlborough School for Girls, Sonia discovered a passion for French New Wave Cinema. She graduated from Stanford with a BA in French and Film, where she also ran Cardinal Studios—Stanford’s filmmaking studio—and then moved to Paris to study French film with faculty at François Rabelais University. She then transitioned into an internship at Banijay Studios, France's largest television production studio. Although accepted to Columbia's French PhD program, Sonia deferred her acceptance and spent two years as an Assistante de Langue Anglaise at Lycée Paul Poiret in Paris.

This fall, she returned to Los Angeles to begin study at UCLA’s Graduate School of Theater, Film, & Television as part of the MFA Program in Production/Directing.

Patrick (Georgetown ‘23)

A New York City native, Patrick graduated as valedictorian from Thurgood Marshall Academy in Harlem's District 5. Now a sophomore at Georgetown in the McDonough School of Business, he plans to double major in finance and accounting. He serves as an Analyst at Georgetown's Public Real Estate Fund and is on the Executive Board of Georgetown Aspiring Minority Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs (G.A.M.B.L.E). Patrick participated in Morgan Stanley's Freshman Enhancement Program in the Institutional Securities Group and recently joined BLK Capital, a black-owned, student run non-profit that promotes financial literacy of black students through education and professional mentorship.