The Sallie Mae Fund and Thurgood Marshall College Fund Announce $100,000 in Scholarships to 10 Graduate Students

Education Landscape

Since 2021, Sallie Mae, through its charitable arm, The Sallie Mae Fund, has partnered with Thurgood Marshall College Fund to award scholarships to help students from all backgrounds access and complete higher education.  The Sallie Mae Fund’s Bridging the Dream Scholarship for Graduate Students provides $10,000 to 10 deserving graduate students who plan to use their degree to advocate for social justice and support their communities. 

This year’s scholarship recipients are enrolled in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, state colleges, and Ivy league universities and were selected from nearly 500 applicants. They are aspiring doctors, nurses, educators, engineers, and social workers, with diverse and unique backgrounds. 

In many cases, these diverse and deserving recipients have shown tremendous resiliency and have overcome a variety of obstacles that too often can put higher education out of reach – whether it be a first-generation student or coming from historically marginalized communities, and in some cases, both.

Congratulations to the 2023 recipients of The Sallie Mae Fund and Thurgood Marshall College Fund Bridging the Dream Scholarship for Graduate Students!

2023 Bridging the Dream Scholarship for Graduate Students Recipients

Shawnda Williams

Hometown: Apopka, FL

College: Florida A&M University

Program: Master of Public Health 

Marcela Dos Santos

Hometown: Irvine, CA

College: University of California—Irvine

Program: Doctor of Nursing Practice, FNP

Angela  Ji

Hometown: Ellicott City, MD

College: James Madison University

Program: Master of Psychology

Tyreece Santana

Hometown: Bronx, NY

College: Columbia University

Program: Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering

Jacqueline Pauley

Hometown: Rose Hill, VA

College: James Madison University       

Program: Master of Education

Tia Briggs

Hometown: Oklahoma City, OK

College: Langston University

Program: Master of Science, Rehabilitation

Denerick Simpson

Hometown: Doerun, GA

College: Savannah State University

Program: Master of Public Administration

Ahmad Elhaija

Hometown: Anaheim, CA

College: UCLA, David Geffen School of Medicine

Program: M.D. Doctor of Medicine

Katherine Esser

Hometown: Toledo, OH

College: College of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Toledo

Program: Doctor of Medicine

Fabiola Limon

Hometown: Santa Maria, CA

College: University of Massachusetts—Global

Program: Master of Social Work

The Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program is part of a three-year, $3 million commitment made by The Sallie Mae Fund to open doors of higher education to students from all backgrounds, including those from underserved or underrepresented communities. To date, more than 600 scholarships worth $2 million have been awarded to help students access and complete their education.

Applications for the Bridging the Dream Scholarship for High School Seniors will open on February 6, 2023.