Warner Norcross + Judd LLP has awarded scholarships to a total of eight college students through the firm’s Diversity Law, Business and Scholars programs.
Eman Naga has received a Diversity Law Scholarship, which is a competitive academic scholarship for students of color administered and awarded by Grand Rapids Community Foundation. Gavin Savercool has been selected for the Clearing Sky Christensen/Warner Norcross + Judd Business Scholarship, given to a student pursuing a business degree and awarded through an endowment at the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation.
Six students are being sponsored by Warner as part of the firm’s first year in the JD Advising Scholars Program, which provides participants with one-on-one tutoring, resources and opportunities for mentoring from and connecting with law firm sponsors. They are:
- Caitlin Do, Ali Saad and Ashly Wilkie – Michigan State University
- Christian Ledford, Carla Valdes and Micah Wright – Wayne State University
“Warner is proud to support these students in their educational endeavors, and we congratulate them on their individual achievements,” Warner Managing Partner Mark Wassink said. “Through these scholarships, we are able to provide significant financial support to students from communities who historically have been underrepresented in the legal profession.”
Warner has provided more than $250,000 to support programs that encourage students of color and other underrepresented groups to pursue a law career. To date, the scholarships have assisted 126 students.
Naga, who recently graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in political science and government, law, justice and social change, will be awarded $5,000 to assist with the cost of law school tuition. She plans to attend the University of Michigan Law School.
“To some strangers, I’m a young, Arab hijabi woman walking quickly or driving slightly over the speed limit. To others, I’m a terror and must be banned,” Naga wrote in her scholarship essay. “In front of the remaining insidious set of strangers, I’m weak, submissive and a victim of an oppressive faith and people.
“I realized my American citizenship and residency were critical to my survival. If I looked as I do now and lived in Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria, I very likely would have been utterly victimized by the war on terror and the harm inflicted on me justified. This harrowing reality propelled me to study politics, sociology and eventually the law, with the intent of becoming a human rights attorney prosecuting war crimes and fighting for my people.”
Savercool will receive $1,200 to assist with the cost of tuition as he pursues an associate’s degree at GRCC. He plans to attend Michigan State or Grand Valley State University, where he will work toward a bachelor’s degree in business. His scholarship is named in honor of Warner’s former longtime executive director in recognition for his years of service to the firm.
To qualify for the JD Advising Scholars Program, a student must have been enrolled in an American Bar Association-accredited law school for fall 2022, must have a minimum of a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or a 160 score on the Law School Aptitude Test and must identify as a member of an underrepresented racial, ethnic or gender group, as a member of the LGBTQ community or be disabled.
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