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Despite COVID-19 cancellations, 2020 Rosa Parks scholars have plans for college

The Detroit News

Whenever someone asked Carlos-Aldo Lopez-Resendiz what he wanted to be when he grew up, his answer would change based on whatever TV show he was watching. 

While at Everett High School in Lansing, Lopez-Resendiz still wasn’t sure what he wanted to be. He tried joining several clubs to see what he liked, including one in computer programming, but quickly realized it wasn’t for him. 

Now, after he joined an after-school STEM program hosted by Michigan State University, Lopez-Resendiz, 17, realized his calling was in math and business. 

"I did like math more than any of the other subjects I took ... so I was thinking of becoming an actuary," said Lopez-Resendiz, who will start at Michigan State in the fall. 

Lopez-Resendiz is one of 41 recipients this year of a scholarship from the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation. The scholarships grant high school seniors a one-time $2,000 award in the name of the late civil rights leader and Detroit resident. 

The foundation was founded by The Detroit News and Detroit Public Schools in 1980 and is supported by the Butzel Long law firm.

Traditionally, the foundation holds a dinner to honor scholarship recipients. Due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, a dinner to honor recipients was canceled. 

Lopez-Resendiz said he will be able to focus on school without having to worry about finances. With the scholarship and other financial aid grants from Michigan State, Lopez-Resendiz does not have to take out any student loans during his first year. 

"I'm just very grateful," said Lopez-Resendiz, whose two older sisters also were scholarship recipients. "For me personally, because my mom is a single parent and she takes care of all of us ... this is just a good thing to have to be financially stable."

The scholarship honors Rosa Parks by commemorating her commitment to promoting education as an equalizing force for underprivileged groups, said Kim Trent, president of the foundation and a 1987 recipient. 

“As someone who sacrificed so much to make America try to live up to its potential, I think it’s a fitting legacy for her to have these very successful men and women able to go to college because of Mrs. Parks,” Trent said.

Potential recipients explain how they will give back to their communities as Parks did. The essay prompt for this year asked students how they would contribute to social change. 

Penina Iradukunda, a graduate of Well Spring Prep High School in Grand Rapids, wrote she would give back to her community by starting her own scholarship fund for students.

"It’s interesting because (students) tell you a story with the essays," Iradukunda said. "I can make a change by helping people and giving other students money."

Iradukunda, 20, and her family sought refuge in Michigan from their home country, Rwanda, four years ago. While in high school, Iradukunda was on the student council, tutored middle school students and was part of a program for international students. Iradukunda is planning on going to Grand Rapids Community College to become an accountant. 

"It’s a lot of money that can help me. I can buy books and pay for transportation to classes ... it will help me a lot," Irandukunda said. 

Dania Alazawi  

Dearborn High School 

Hometown: Dearborn

College: University of Michigan

Career plans: Physician 

Parents: Khaldoun and Iman Alazawi 

Achievements: Salutatorian; Discover Islam, president; National Honor Society, director of communication; Social Justice Club, vice president; Link Crew, leader

Athraa Alghazaly

Fordson High School

Hometown: Dearborn

College: Wayne State University or University of Michigan 

Career plans: Biochemical engineering and public health

Parents: Gufran Ibrahim and Haitham Alghazaly 

Achievements: National Arab American Medical Association Next Gen, chapter president; Medical and Engineering Club, secretary; School of Public Health, University of Michigan, ambassador; Wayne State SHAPE Chemical Engineering, internship; AAUW Marge Powell Leadership Award 

Addy Battel    

Home school   

Hometown: Cass City

College: Michigan State University

Career plans: Public service and agriculture policy

Parents: Sue Stuever Battel and Bob Battel    

Achievements: National 4-H Club, Youth in Action Award for agriculture, scholarship recipient (2019); Michigan Governor’s Service Award (2019); Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes (2019); tributes for community service from state Sen. Kevin Daley, state Rep. Phil Green and U.S. Rep. Paul Mitchell (2019) 

Butzel Long Rosa Parks scholar

Drue Bender     

Renaissance High School   

Hometown: Detroit

College: Michigan State University  

Career plans: Political advocacy/attorney

Parents: Cheryl and Willie Bender    

Achievements: YMCA Michigan Youth and Government, youth governor (2019-2020); class president (2019-2020), class corresponding secretary (2017-2019); figure skating in Detroit, youth counselor (2019-2020); Phoenix Pride, mentor (2019-2020) 

Shalyce Black

Harper Woods High School

Hometown: Detroit

College: Madonna University

Career plans: Psychology

Parents: Chandra Black and Michael Foster

Achievements: Published in two books; National Honor Society; boutique entrepreneur

Milisa Carter

River Rouge High School 

Hometown: Detroit

College: University of Michigan

Career plans: Major in neuroscience

Parent: Lisa Johnson

Achievements: National Honor Society; Social Justice Club, coordinator and treasurer; school newspaper, editor; Honor Roll 

Frances Chukwu    

Michigan Lutheran High School  

Hometown: Pontiac

College: University of Toledo     

Career plans: Medical

Parents: Janefrances and Emmanuel Chukwu  

Achievements: National Honor Society; Honor Roll; Little Miss French Beauty Pageant Nigeria, second runner-up

Gabrielle Clinton

University Liggett High School

Hometown: Detroit

College: Indiana University-Purdue University

Career plans: Forensic scientist

Parent: Zina Hardamon

Achievements: Michigan Thespian State Festival, showcase performer; The Liggett Players, director of sound; Terrill Newman Award; recognized in Grosse Pointe News for “Reflections,” a painting adaptation of “Malinche,” a novel by Laura Esquivel, which also was displayed at Grosse Pointe Public Library 

Quentin A. D. Cobbs

University High School Academy

Hometown: Southfield

College: Northland College

Career plans: Civil engineering

Parent: April Smiley

Achievements: Robotics team, chairperson; AP Scholar; Honor Roll; completed Wolverine Pathways Program

Wynter Cook

West Bloomfield High School

Hometown: Pontiac

College: Howard University

Career plans: Performing arts

Parent: Nina Cook

Achievements: National Honor Society; International Thespian Society; Life Center Church, youth president; African American Awareness Club, vice president

Mackenize Dekker 

Ravenna High School

Hometown: Ravenna 

College: Michigan State University 

Career plans: Physician’s assistant 

Parents:  Amanda and Michael Dekker

Achievements: Co-valedictorian; National Honor Society, president; student council, senior class vice president; yearbook, editor-in-chief; citizenship award

Jennifer Dinh

East Kentwood High School

Hometown: Kentwood

College: Michigan State University

Career plans: Music Major

Parent: Nga Vu

Achievements: National Honor Society; AP Scholar; Honor Roll; Piano Cottage Crescendo Music Scholarship; pianist

Isabella Eilf

Bay City Western High School

Hometown: Bay City

College: Michigan State University

Career plans: Lawyer

Parents: Angela and Todd Eilf

Achievements: National Honor Society, Leo Club; Relay for Life; Michigan Competitive Scholarship; Maier & Associates academic award

Na’Tysia Evans

West Bloomfield High School

Hometown: Pontiac

College: Alabama State University

Career plans: Business management   

Parents: Jamillah and Shawn Evans  

Achievements: Honor Roll; Delta Gems, leadership and sportsmanship; community service award

Ivey Ewang    

Skyline High School

Hometown: Ann Arbor

College: Undecided 

Career plans: Medical  

Parent: Irene Ewang   

Achievements: NAACP Freedom Fund Scholar; Young Women for Change, secretary; Growing Hope, volunteer; U of M “She’s a Cardiologist” participant 

Madison Eye

Charlotte High School

Hometown: Charlotte

College: Grand Valley State University

Career plans: Physical therapist 

Parents: Rachael and Anthony Eye

Achievements: FFA, state degree; National Honor Society; Honor Roll; Track, pole vault school record holder; Grand Valley track

Amari Green

Flint Southwestern Academy

Hometown: Flint

College: Clark Atlanta University

Career plans: Fashion designer

Parent: Tamiko Herron

Achievements: Salutatorian; National Honor Society, president; Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates, president

Tyyler Greene

Renaissance High School  

Hometown: Detroit

College: Michigan State University

Career plans: Civil rights attorney

Parent: David Greene  

Achievements: Yearbook, editor; newspaper, editor; Honor Roll (9th-12th); school announcements speaker

Ana Ha

Byron Center High School

Hometown: Byron Center

College: University of Michigan

Career plans: Cellular and molecular biomedical science

Parents: Hung Ha and Thanh Tran

Achievements: National Honor Society; Daughters of the American Revolution, Good Citizen; Kent District Library, teen crew member/volunteer

Margaret Harris

Edwardsburg High School 

Hometown: Edwardsburg

College: Southwestern Michigan College

Career plans: Nursing

Parents: Karen and Paul Harris

Achievements: National Honor Society; Edwardsburg Sports Complex, youth advisory council; Lakeland Hospital, volunteer; Edwardsburg Fire Department, community volunteer; Zolman Student Citizen Award

Bryce Humphrey

John Glenn High School

Hometown: Bay City

College: Davenport University

Career plans: Cyber defense

Parents: Traci and Bruce Humphrey

Achievements: National Honor Society; High Honors; CyberPatriot, High Gold competitor

Allisa Hymon

Cass Technical High School

Hometown: Detroit

College: Texas Southern University

Career plans: Pharmacist

Parents: Disa and Alvin Hymon

Achievements: National Honor Society; honor student; Contoured Cuties Club, secretary

Salwa Ibrahim

Crestwood High School

Hometown: Dearborn Heights

College: University of Michigan

Career plans: Ophthalmologist

Parents: Majdoline and Faroog Ibrahim

Achievements: Salutatorian; varsity swim, captain; theater, cast and crew; Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD); Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program, researcher

Drew Ingraham

Ovid-Elsie High School

Hometown: Ovid

College: Michigan State University

Career plans: Materials science and engineering

Parents: Jessica and Andy Ingraham

Achievements: Summa Cum Laude; class secretary; band, John Philip Sousa Award 

Penina Iradukunda

Wellspring Preparatory High School

Hometown: Grand Rapids

College: Aquinas College 

Career plans: Accounting

Parent: Herena Nyiragatete

Achievements: Student council; Treetop Sister Circle; Christian Revival Center, choir president

Hannah Letang

Washtenaw Technical Middle College High School

Hometown: Ann Arbor

College: University of Michigan

Career plans: Biomedical engineer

Parents: Jennie Letang and Benjamin Patterson

Achievements: Dean’s list, high honors (2017-2020); National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (2016-2018); National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists (2017); Pathfinder Church Club; Teen Leadership award (2019)

Carlos-Aldo Lopez-Resendiz

Everett High School

Hometown: Lansing

College: Michigan State University

Career plans: Actuary 

Parent: Veronica Resendiz Medina

Achievements: National Honor Society, secretary; Capital Region Foundation Youth Action Committee; cross country

Armando Motz

Bad Axe High School

Hometown: Port Austin

College: Michigan Technological University

Career plans: Physical therapist

Parents: Mireya and Eric Motz

Achievements: Salutatorian; National Honor Society, treasurer; Positive School Climate, vice president 

Haylee Murray

Quincy High School

Hometown: Quincy

College: University of Michigan    

Career plans: Costume designer

Parent: Jessica Murray 

Achievements: National Honor Society; Color Guard, captain (2018-2020); Excellence in Spanish (2017, 2019-20): costume designer, “Beverly Hillbillies” and “Matilda” 

Julien Nyberg

Pentwater Public School

Hometown: Hart

College: University of Michigan

Career plans: Mechanical engineering

Parents: Yumiko and Mitchell Nyberg

Achievements: National Honor Society, president; cross country, state qualifier; basketball/cross country, academic All-State; baseball, academic All-District; Outstanding Achievement award

Oluwadarasimi Olorunsola

Southfield High School

Hometown: Southfield

College: Western Michigan University

Career plans: Real estate investor

Parents: Yemisi Bamisaye and Olu Olorunsola

Achievements: Business Professionals of America; Midnight Golf Program; track and field

LaMar Price II

University of Detroit Jesuit High School

Hometown: Detroit

College: Xavier University of Louisiana

Career plans: Medical scientist

Parents: Eryka Cheatham and LaMar Price

Achievements: Student Senate, vice president; Emperor Science Award; Karmanos Cancer Institute, internship; National Chess tournament, top-10 finisher; soccer, Catholic League champion; photography 

Lauren Reed

Heritage High School 

Hometown: Saginaw

College: Albion College

Career plans: Plastic surgeon 

Parents: Lisa and André Reed

Achievements: National Honor Society; Christian Club, vice president; girls basketball, state championship Class A (2018, 2019); AAU Basketball Michigan Storm; Ivylette Youth Group; Top Teen of America, vice president; NAACP Youth; homecoming queen 

Deschalyn Riase

Port Huron High School

Hometown: Port Huron

College: Central Michigan University

Career plans: Early childhood education or social work

Parent: Valerie Riase

Achievements: Magna cum laude; National Honor Society; girls varsity basketball, MAC division champions, MAC Tournament champions, All-Academic team; Saving Our Neighborhood and Streets (SONS) outreach program; The Talented Tenth, president

Ally Schultz

Stephenson High School

Hometown: Wallace

College: University of Michigan

Career plans: Civil rights lawyer or political journalist

Parents: Hailey and Josh Schultz 

Achievements: Valedictorian; National Honor Society, president; Business Professionals of America Parliamentary Procedure competition, three-time national champion 

Joshua Smith

Home school

Hometown: Detroit

College: Calvin University

Career plans: Ministry

Parents: Rhonda and Flynn Smith

Achievements: Student council, treasurer; The Detroit News Michiganian of the Year (2012)

Dominique Trondle 

Gladwin High School

Hometown: Gladwin

College: Mid Michigan college 

Career plans: Business

Parents: Helen and Bill Trondle

Achievements: Sparks newspaper, editor-in-chief; Echo yearbook; National Honor Society; Junior Achievement; Science Olympiad

Rianna Urquhart    

Cass Technical High School 

Hometown: Detroit 

College: Xavier University of Louisiana

Career plans: Undecided 

Parents: Tawanna Urquhart

Achievements: Class treasurer; National Honor Society; Midnight Golf Program; Henry Health System – Generation With Promise program, youth wellness ambassador

Jazmyn Wall

Cass Technical High School

Hometown: Detroit

College: Tennessee State University

Career plans: Ob/Gyn doctor

Parent: Kim Wall

Achievements:  Marching band, president and section leader; orchestra, president; symphony band; jazz band; Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association Scholar Instrumentalist award (2020); National Honor Society; Medical Career Club, vice president; Big Brother Big Sister, director of education; Detroit Urban League College Club; Detroit Symphony Orchestra Youth Group

Elizabeth Wieland

Carson City-Crystal High School

Hometown: Carson City

College: Lake Erie College

Career plans: Therapeutic riding instructor

Parents: Jenny and Caleb Wieland

Achievements: Valedictorian; National Honor Society; Equestrian Team, captain; 4-H State Horse Show, Top 5 in Western Dressage

Victor Jackson

Belleville High School

Hometown: Belleville

College: Wayne State University

Career plans: Broadcast journalism

Parents: Victoria and Michael Jackson

Accomplishments: Marching band (2016-20); basketball, team manager (2018-20); Student Leadership Team; Detroit PAL, journalism (2017-20) 

Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation: Board of Directors

Kim Trent, foundation president, deputy director-prosperity for the state of Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation scholar

James Rosenfeld, foundation vice president; shareholder, Butzel Long

Marcia Hart, foundation secretary; retired, Detroit Media Partnership

Danielle McGuire, foundation assistant secretary; Ph.D., civil rights historian and award-winning author

Terri Barnett Coleman, foundation treasurer; retired, North America Product Development, General Motors Corp.

Luther Keith, foundation assistant treasurer; executive director, Arise Detroit! and former senior editor, The Detroit News

Dorothy Cocroft, retired, labor relations, General Motors Corp.

Delora Hall Tyler, foundation past-president; president, First Media Group Inc.

Jonathan Hart, senior loan officer, Regent Financial

Denise Mallett, vice president of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs and a member of the Sustainability and Recovery team at Marygrove College

Isaiah McKinnon, Ph.D.; retired chief of police and associate professor University Detroit Mercy and deputy mayor, city of Detroit

Walter Middlebrook, Foster Professor of Practice, Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, Pennsylvania State University; former assistant managing editor, The Detroit News

Gary Miles, editor and publisher, The Detroit News

Alicia Nails, director, Journalism Institute for Media Diversity, Wayne State University

Carey Osmundson, communication senior manager, UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust

Sherida D. DuBose Parsons, Medical Director — Molina Healthcare of Michigan

Robin Schwartz, founder and CEO of Robin Schwartz PR and former Fox 2 News anchor/reporter

Barbara K. Smith, Ph.D.; director, Office of Guidance and Counseling, Detroit Public Schools Community District

How to apply for the scholarship

Apply for a scholarship or make a donation to support a scholar. Visit our web page at

Michigan high school seniors are encouraged to apply for a one-time $2,000 scholarship named in honor of civil rights heroine Rosa Parks. Applications will be available in January; the deadline is March 1, 2021.