Shanan Riley, from Millstadt Illinois, is attending Smith College.
Leila Brown, from Pullman Washington, is attending Bryn Mawr College.
Hana Hussaini, from Austin Texas, is attending Wellesley College.
Please join us in welcoming them to TSI’s family of scholars!
Shanan Riley is a 2023 graduate of the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA), an academically advanced residential program for grades 10-12 focused on developing talent and leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Prior to her acceptance into this highly-competitive program, she attended Belleville Township Highschool – West. She will be attending Smith College this fall.
Shanan’s academic career included a well-rounded mix of classes, with a clear focus on STEM topics but additional forays into the arts and three years of Mandarin Chinese. She had a year-long research internship at the University of Chicago, where she worked with a professor to research the economic impact of variations in career advice based on gender and other socioeconomic factors. She is passionate about social justice and workers’ rights and plans to continue researching the intersections of economic policy and the advancement of women’s and LGBTQ+ rights.
While at IMSA, Shanan was involved in a range of activities, with a consistent focus on representation and gender. As the co-president of the Gender Equity Association, she organized an assembly for over 300 students and advised the school’s administration on female representation in STEM. During her time on the Student Advisory Committee, she served as a voice for students to the administration, focused on removing gendered language and expectations from the student handbook and calorie counts from cafeteria displays. She was the Publication Director of IMSA’s chapter of Junior State of America and co-founded a new
publication, Zeitgeist, focused on publishing student political writings.
In her scholarship application essay, Shanan tied her interest in attending a woman’s college to a transformative summer job working at a local greenhouse, where she worked with a group of women who “opened my eyes to the power of surrounding yourself with empowered, kind, intelligent women.”
Leila Brown’s academic record at Pullman High School was exemplary. After completing higher-level offerings through PHS she rounded out her senior year with courses at Washington State University in computer science, history, anthropology, and politics.
Her teachers offer glowing reports of her academic excellence and strong work ethic. In addition to a perfect 4.0 GPA, her academic awards included winning a 2023 National Merit Scholarship, as well as becoming a 2022 AP Scholar with Distinction and her high school’s 2022 Chemistry Student of the Year. Leila balanced her academic accomplishments with leadership roles in athletics and student organizations including groups concerned with women’s rights and with support for the Ukrainian community. She was the Junior Statesman Chapter President (and an activism agent for the larger Pacific Northwest JSA), founder and Co-President of the Student Activism Club (organizing opportunities for students to pursue social justice), captain of the PHS championship volleyball team, varsity tennis player, and held first stand Viola, playing many duets in her school orchestra. A personal victory was successfully changing her school’s English curriculum, consisting largely of work by white men, by adding literary works by women of color. In short, she is a superb candidate for the Harriet Fitzgerald Scholarship.
Leila wrote of her reason for a women’s college. “At a women’s college, female leadership is the default, not an exception. Learning alongside a diverse group of ambitious and driven women will help me develop my own self-confidence and take in new perspectives. . . [where] I believe that I will enjoy a unique college culture of mutual respect and empowerment.
Hana Hussaini of Austin, Texas is the 2nd Elizabeth Gordon McCrodden Leadership Award recipient. Hana graduated in June from the Liberal Arts and Science Academy and was accepted early decision at Wellesley.
Hana’s outstanding academic record was surpassed only by her participation in numerous organizations at the local and national level. She was President of the LASA Environmental Club and the Cares Club, award winning Photo Editor of the Yearbook, selected by faculty to the Equity Council, and was Junior Liaison member of the National Honor Society. She served as President of the Austin Climate Coalition, a student-led climate activism group that focuses on youth mobilization and community engagement.
Hana’s work with the Rainforest Partnership, an international organization, speaks to her leadership abilities. As the Media and Outreach Lead & Graphic Designer, she is one of two high school students nationally to serve on the board of Gen Z for the Trees (Z4T), “a youth-oriented and entirely youth-led initiative with a bold mission: engage youth on rainforest protection, overcome the oversimplification of conservation work, and shift the narrative on climate change from despair to optimism and action.”
Hana chose a women’s college because she wanted an “inclusive environment of changemakers that would give me the support I need to make a difference. Touring Wellesley, Mount Holyoke, and Bryn Mawr, I found that space.
At these colleges, I saw a unique bond within the student body that transcended their variety of backgrounds. In the countless tours, webinars, and interviews I attended, there was always an emphasis on the tight-knit community unique to women’s colleges, one that empowers students to step outside of their comfort zone and thrive.”
Additional scholars that we are supporting:
Alena Rooney, Smith College
Kennedi Malone, Agnes Scott College
Julia Rademacher-Wedd, Agnes Scott College
Quinn Katayama-Stall, Scripps College
Alyssa Richardson, Spelman College
Shanan Riley, Smith College
Leila Brown, Bryn Mawr College