Scholarship Winners

 2022 Winners

Sydney Manno

Bio: Sydney Manno is a young theatre artist currently studying Environmental Studies and Theatre. She was raised on a farm in rural Pennsylvania and fell in love with dance as a means to express the joy of the nature surrounding her. She has kept that idea at the forefront of her art ever since, passionately making theatre for environmental change with a focus on choreography and arts & environmental education. On top of her studies, she is also training in dance at Broadway Dance Center in New York City.

Reaction Statement: “I write a lot of scholarship essays that can sometimes be vulnerable and personal. This essay meant a lot to me and to be recognized for my hard work as a student and what I’ve risen above in my life means a lot to me. I am forever changed and forever grateful.”

Grace Sekaya

Bio: Born in Togo, West Africa, Grace Sekaya moved to Alabama at a young age. In a small town, community was discovered through connections made with other immigrant families. There, she learned the importance of community and collaboration which fueled her interest in obtaining a BA in International Studies with a concentration in Global Health at the University of South Alabama. After graduation, she was selected as DIRECT Cancer Research Fellow for the Duke Cancer Institute where she spent a year examining the ongoing disparities in gastric cancer. Now, she attends medical school at Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine at the University of South Alabama. As a medical student, she hopes to continue her passions of mentorship, advocating for children’s overall wellbeing, and building skills to deliver culturally competent care. She hopes to leverage her MD degree to combine her passions for medicine and community work to bring about change within the community she one day will serve.

Reaction Statement: “WOW!! Thank you so much to the individuals who took the time to read over and select me for the Silberman & Lam’s Rise Above Scholarship. I took a leap of faith when applying for this scholarship & I am so glad that I took the opportunity to apply. This scholarship will be a big help in taking some of the financial burden off that comes with pursuing my lifelong dream of one day becoming a physician. Medical school has a lot of stressors and money is a big one. Thanks to this scholarship, I am able to worry less, focus on my studies, and do the best I can in classes. I am so grateful to be a recipient of this award. Thank you so much.”

Ihfaz Islam

Bio: I am currently a third-year student at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI studying Electrical Engineering. I originally come from Bangladesh, a small South Asian country in the Indian subcontinent. One of my visions in life is to shape the way people live their daily lives through science, technology, and of course engineering. Some of my career interests lie in self-driving and electric vehicles. In my free time, I like to spend time with family, play online multiplayer video games, outdoor sports like basketball and soccer, and learn about developments in software, hardware, and AI industries.

Reaction Statement: I would like to thank you for considering me for your scholarship. Your scholarship will significantly help my family and I to pay for my college education. Please know that your investment will be put to great use. My goal is to be an engineer who uses engineering to help the lives of others. Thank you for helping me in my pursuit of this goal. Again, I am grateful that you have chosen me to receive your scholarship. Thank you!

Alexis Libert

Bio: My name is Alexis Libert, and I am a third-year counseling psychology doctoral student at Felician University in Rutherford, New Jersey. My clinical and research interests focus on the development, dissemination, and delivery of more equitable and accessible eating disorder treatment. I am also passionate about ending hunger for students, and I run our on-campus food security program, Our Sisters’ Pantry. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading fiction, practicing yoga, and running.

Reaction Statement: I am honored and humbled to have been chosen as one of Silberman & Lam’s Rise Above Scholarship winners for 2022. The fact that I received this news on my birthday makes it that much sweeter! I am thrilled to have the support of the firm and look forward to continuing my academic and professional pursuits aided by the generous assistance they have provided. It takes a village to be able to fully embrace the opportunities available in graduate school, and I am immensely grateful to have Silberman & Lam as a part of my village. Thank you to everyone at the firm that made this scholarship possible!