2011 Opportunity Scholars

Meet the Class of 2011 Opportunity Scholars. These twelve incoming freshmen distinguished themselves and have been selected to receive this prestigious full-tuition scholarship, valued at more than $46,000 over four years. They were selected from nearly 200 eligible, incoming students on the basis of academics, service to their community and a group interview. Learn more about them through the profiles below.

Lauren Aaron

Cass Technical High School
Major: Education

Rima Begum

Cass Technical High School
Major: Undecided (interested in Pre-Health)

  • Involved in the Cass Tech Business Co-op Program
  • Mentored Detroit Public School students in the Wayne State Math Corps program
  • She also volunteered at the Detroit Humane Society and other metro Detroit animal shelters
  • Member of National Honor Society and Desi Student Association
  • Volunteer: Detroit City Makeover Day, Islamic Relief Day, Matirx Human Services

Courtland Burton

Consortium College Prepartory High School
Major: Biological Sciences

Olivia Chavez

Cesar Chavez Academy High School
Major: Physics

  • Member of Young Readers, an association that encourages children to read more by reading to elementary students in Detroit
  • Volunteered at a group home for the elderly
  • Produced songs for a few major rap artists that you may know
  • Hopes to one day be a Physics Teacher
  • Intern from the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Worked to spread social justice to other teenagers in southeastern Michigan

Mercedes Cruz

Cesar Chavez Academy High School
Major: Psychology

Kierstin Dent

Renaissance High School
Major: Mechanical Engineering

  • Volunteered at food and blood drives
  • Worked as a school and peer mediator
  • Interests: helping and coaching children in soccer
  • Renaissance High School, Mechanical Engineering
  • Volunteered for Meals On Wheels, the Forgotten Harvest food packaging service, and multiple fund raising walk-a-thons.

Laila Elamri

Star International Academy
Major: Undecided (Interested in Pre-Med)

Ahmed Fadhel

Hamtramck High School
Major: Computer Information Science

  • President of the National Honor Society
  • Volunteered at Oakwood Hospital, Med Center Dearborn and at Garden City Hospital
  • Volunteered at soup kitchens in Detroit; including the Capuchin Soup Kitchen
  • Tutored students in core courses including Math, Science and English


  • Member of Robotics team
  • First wrestler from Hamtramck to make regionals
  • Participated in the Global Trade Missions
  • Volunteered at ACCESS

Khairalah Ghaleb

Frontier International Academy
Major: Biological Sciences

Rachel Johnson

Cass Technical High School
Major: Computer Engineering

  • Member of student government and an environmental organization called Green Buddies
  • Volunteered in greening of Detroit incentive and on Earth day
  • A part of the Michigan Department of Transportation's youth development and mentoring program
  • Active in the Earth Club and Art Club
  • Volunteered to tutor students and help teachers
  • Member of Unity Temple of the Apostolic Faith

Dalila Valdovinos

Cesar Chavez Academy High School
Major: Psychology

Ashorina Youkanna

Madison Heights High School
Major: Psychology

  • Class Valedictorian
  • Member of National Honor Society and Girls Soccer Team
  • Mentor to middle school students
  • Member of the National Honor Society
  • Captain of the Girl’s Volleyball Team
  • Vice President of the Student Council
  • Class Vice President
  • Coordinated blood drives with The American Red Cross