2023 Graduate Scholars

2023 Graduate Scholars

Scarlett Lara-Alacantara

Undergraduate: UAB 

Bachelor’s Degree: International Studies and Spanish Literature 

Undergraduate Graduation Date: April 29, 2017

Graduate Degree: Juris Doctorate (Summa Cum Laude) 

Post-Grad Position: Shipman & Goodwin LLP (1st-year associate – Hartford, CT) 

Noah Estus

Noah Estus Graduation 2023

2014 Smith Scholar Initiate from Oakman, AL

2018 University of Montevallo Graduate- BS Biochemistry and Minor in Mathematics, Magna cum laude

2021 Samford University- BS Pharmaceutical Sciences, Summa cum laude and Ro Chi

2023 Samford University Graduate- Pharm.D., With honors

2023-2024 Viva Health Managed Care Pharmacy Residency- Birmingham, Alabama 

“Without the Smith Foundation I would be myself, nothing more and nothing less, but with Smith I achieved more than I ever dreamed of ❤️. I love my Smith Family and am thankful for my opportunities!”

Noah Estus

Aspiring Success 

Michael Foster Gregory

“I am a 2016 recipient of the scholarship. I graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2020 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and Political Science. I graduated from Emory University School of Law in 2023 after a transient year at the Vanderbilt University School of Law. I will be working at McAngus, Goudelock, and Courie in their Nashville office after I take the bar in July.”

Paris Nelson

After I graduated from UM and compled an internship abroad where I landed $200,000 in grants for STEM Education and Environmental Education programs with Boeing- Italy I went to the University of Kentucky to pursue my MA in Instructional Communication.

My undergraduate research interest in the experiences and challenges of first-generation college students propelled me to continue my studies of first-gen experiences at UK. After graduating, I spent two years working in higher education access and support at Eastern Kentucky University in both Admissions and TRiO SSS. My love for social impact work and grant funded projects led me to explore options across the U.S. and inevitably landed me in Washington State. 

In 2022, WSU Vancouver was awarded two new TRiO Talent Search grants and relocated me to SW Washington where I now serve as the Director of the TRiO Talent Search Programs at WSU Vancouver. I now work closely within the community in many capacities. I serve as a board member for Fourth Plain Forward. Fourth Plain Forward supports strengthening and growing small businesses, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs, improving the corridor’s safety and appearance, and promoting equitable and inclusive development along the Fourth Plain Corridor of Vancouver. As TRiO Director and a FPF Board Member I collaborate with a number of groups including the City of Vancouver and BIPOC community organizations to bring equity to education access for corridor residents- even serving on the City of Vancouver Investment Strategy Committee for the Fourth Plain for All project where we grapple with the challenge of spending $25 million of federal funding received through the American Rescue Plan Act for the project. 

My passion for this works stems from my own lived experience. I was the first in my family to even complete a high school diploma, much less go on to get a masters. TRiO programs brought me to where I am today (I am a 3-time alum: TRiO Talent Search, Student Support Services, McNair) and have dedicated my career to social impact work that elevates education equity.