Kristen Alleyne and Elene Lipartiani, current freshmen at Mason, have been honored with I-Achieve scholarships for academic excellence. The awards were given for the first time in 2020 as part of a $100,000 grant Mason received from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.
The scholarships are intended for students who graduated from Mason’s Early Identification Program (EIP) and will be attending Mason as University Scholars in the Honors College. EIP is Mason’s college preparatory program for first-generation college students in the Northern Virginia area. EIP provides access to educational resources for students from seven local public school systems and is intended to equip students with skills that will help them become lifelong learners, leaders and responsible global citizens.
Khaseem F. Davis, EIP director, said that both students’ intellectual curiosity, hard work and pursuit of excellence were evident from their first day in EIP.
Lipartiani, 18, moved to the United States from the Republic of Georgia in 2007. “I didn’t completely understand the language or the cultural aspects of being in the U.S., so I did end up feeling a bit isolated,” Lipartiani said.
Lipartiani was accepted to EIP, making friends and finishing Oakton High School with a 4.2 grade point average and an interest in mental health and psychology.
“I love understanding people and what makes them tick,” said Lipartiani, who wants to study neuroscience to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
Alleyne, 17, was born in Guyana, and came to the United States in 2012. Focused on church and public service, Alleyne served on Volunteer Arlington’s MLK Day of Service Advisory Council. An EIP student, Alleyne graduated Washington-Liberty High School as a valedictorian and was a member of the National Honor Society. She also served as president of her school’s Black Student Union.
Alleyne plans to study community health at Mason and wants to become an epidemiologist. “When the Ebola virus was rampant, I was fascinated with trying to understand how it spread and how different countries were containing it,” Alleyne said.
“Investing in their success and supporting their pursuit of excellence will yield a high return and uplift our communities, region, and nation. I am happy to see that this grant has allowed us to invest in the success of Elene and Kristin,” said Davis.
Anna Stolley Persky / A version of this story was originally published Sept. 3, 2020 on gmu.edu.