We are excited to announce that the winner of The Thon Beck Vanni Callahan & Powell Scholarship is Victoria Solkovits, a 17 year old student from Los Angeles who is currently studying at the University of Central Los Angeles. Here is a snippet from her scholarship winning essay about how she engaged in public service in high school and college:

Eleanor Roosevelt, Malala Yousafzai, and Susan B. Anthony reside in me – all at once. Leadership is my calling, social justice is my cause célèbre, and I am extremely committed to public service. I have always stood for equity and equality, so it didn’t seem strange when my teacher told me that I was well suited for the Oval Office at the age of eight. From the very start, I was one who was catapulted to the front. Whether creating a project for Girl Scouts or debating on current issues in my community, my leadership was always respected. It may have been a part of my DNA, as my grandmother was the first female president of my local teachers’ union and my father held an office position in the same organization. Throughout my life, I have been involved in political action. While most children were playing on the field, I was fighting for what I believe; amongst 800 teachers at a march, the one six year old holding a picket sign was most definitely me.

Life can be chronicled from all the buttons and signs I have from various campaigns and propositions. “Vote NO on Prop 8” to “AFT for Hillary 2016”, I have always been told to make what I believe in the center of my being, some of these issues being women’s rights, reforming the criminal justice system, racial justice, and college affordability. Through working on campaigns and participating in strikes, I have always been politically motivated. For my whole life, I have idolized leaders such as Eleanor Roosevelt- her fighting spirit and strong will central to me. I soon decided I did not have to be President, or even of legal voting age, to make a valuable difference.

To apply for our scholarship, click here .