Scholarship Recipients

tanyadonangmayeFormer Pathway Student Tanya Donangmaye Selected as a 2016-2017 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) Grant Awardee

NOVA alumnus and former Pathway to the Baccalaureate program student Tanya Donangmaye has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) Grant.  The selection process was extremely competitive as only 25% (roughly) of the highly qualified applicants were selected.  The groundwork for the Fulbright program was laid in 1945 when Senator J. William Fulbright introduced a bill in Congress to use funding from surplus war property to foster the “promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science.”  President Harry Truman signed the bill into law in 1946 and Congress founded what would become the “flagship international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government.”* Tanya plans to contribute to the mission of the program by traveling to South Korea, where she will be teaching English and American culture.

Tanya’s journey at NOVA started when she applied for the Pathway Program during her senior year at Gar-Field Senior High School.  She was highly motivated to complete her Associates degree in two years and is thankful for her Pathway Counselor Alex Coppelman, for helping her stay on track, “…going above and beyond his job description,” and  “always having my back and providing words of encouragement during moments I did not believe in myself.”

During her time at NOVA, Tanya was twice awarded the Semmler scholarship, which greatly eased some of the financial burden she faced as she funded her own education.  Additionally, she was heavily involved in various student organizations, including the Pathway Advisory Council, held multiple leadership roles, and had the pleasure working closely with her idol Dr. Semmler on several community outreach projects.  Tanya credits Dr. Semmler for fostering her strong passion for public service.  This passion is what motivated her to seek a Fulbright Grant.

Tanya graduated from NOVA Cum Laude in May 2013 and was selected to deliver the commencement address at the Pathway Program graduation ceremony.  After NOVA, she transferred to GMU and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Affairs with a minor in Women and Gender Studies.  She has completed internships with the African Union Mission to the United Nations and the DC Mayor’s Office on African Affairs. Currently, she is finishing up a congressional internship with the office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, sponsored by the prestigious Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Emerging Leader Internship Program.

Reflecting on her journey, Tanya is thankful for the Pathway Program and that she began her higher education experience at NOVA.  She credits NOVA with laying the foundations of who she is today.



2014-2015 VALHEN Scholarship Recipients

Jonathan Coellojonathan

Mario Colón Rivadeneira Memorial Scholarship ($1,000)

Northern Virginia Community College – Pathway to the Baccalaureate Program
Jonathan is currently enrolled at Northern Virginia Community College where he is a part of the Pathway to the Baccalaureate Program. He is studying Biology while maintaining a G.P.A. of 3.7, aiming to transfer to George Mason University. Eventually he would like to attend medical school. Hoping to become the first in his family to receive a Bachelor’s degree, Jonathan does his best to balance school with work and personal time. Having a passion for working with children, he volunteers at a local neighborhood community center where he tutors students from 1st to 12th grade as well as coaching young children as a swim instructor. Having been through many hardships in life, Jonathan seeks to be a good role model for the people he comes across and tries to instill a love of school and learning in young minds. He makes sure to take full advantage of every opportunity granted to him. He is already considered a success among his family and friends and they are all very proud of him!

wilmerWilmer Medrano

VALHEN Scholarship ($500)

Northern Virginia Community College – Pathway to the Baccalaureate Program

Wilmer is a freshman at Northern Virginia Community College. His passion towards helping his community motivates him to study criminal justice. In 2013, Wilmer joined Raider Readers, a club that places high school students at Baileys Elementary school to read to the young students and build a mentoring relationship. He also joined the Hispanic Honor Society that promotes Hispanic culture through school activities. For example, he volunteered as a tutor for high school freshmen in beginner level Spanish. Since his first year in the United States he has held a job to support his family and his studies. His dedication at school, willingness to serve, and discipline at work have served him well as he joined the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Service as an Activity Facilitator. He was been actively involved with United for Social Justice (USJ), and STAR, two non-profit organizations whose missions are to enable more low-income and at-risk students to access higher education.