2021 Johnson & Johnson Scholars
Sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, this program provides scholarship awards to high-achieving Black students enrolled full-time in an accredited four-year college or university pursuing a degree in a STEM, business, or a health-related field of study.
The 2021 class received a two-year, need-based scholarship in the amount of $8,000 to assist with educational expenses for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic years.
Ania Kerr is a junior currently studying health services administration at Florida International University. In addition, she is interested in health management and public health because she wants to make changes to the health status of low-income communities. During her first year, Kerr became an Orientation Leader and served as a resource for transfer and first-year students. One of her most significant achievements from being an Orientation Leader is that she completed a service project in which she raised more than $1,100 for the Center for Courageous Kids in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Currently, Kerr is a Peer Mentor for the Office of Student Engagement, Student Representative for the Conduct Committee, and is a part of the National Society of Leadership and Success. She loves to volunteer with programs that help disadvantaged people because when she becomes a health administrator, Kerr plans to make a difference in communities directly.
Dylan Osimetha, a Dallas native, is a sophomore at Kenyon College, where he is studying economics. Osimetha is a member of the men’s basketball team and several campus organizations including Black Student Union, International Affairs Society, Men of Color, and basketball team representative in the Kenyon College Athletics Club. He is also a community servant who has tutored underserved elementary school-aged children, helped to fight food insecurity as a food bank volunteer, and taught basketball skills to children in residence at a homeless shelter. During high school, Osimetha took note of the vast wealth disparity and income inequality in America and decided to become a part of the solution. He plans to pursue a career in wealth management with a focus on helping Black families create and grow generational wealth. Osimetha began his professional journey with a fellowship in JPMorgan Chase’s Asset & Wealth Management group during summer 2021.
Elijah Rashad Oliver
As a sophomore at Howard University, Oliver has proven that he loves the grind. Coming to Howard armored with a strong background in racial equity work as recognized by Princeton University, in his short time at Howard, he has served in HUSA, SOB Student Council, ELITE Models, joined Social Impact 360, the Finance and Investment Club, and has even worked as an advisor for President Fredrick. Last summer, Oliver interned for the University of Utah as a strategic partnership intern. “The U” extended to him three more internship offers to him. This summer, he is interning with the Utah Jazz as a corporate finance intern, “The U” as a corporate partnership intern, and the Emerson Collective as a Youth and Community Engagement Intern. For the Summer of 2022, Oliver will intern with Microsoft’s Finance Rotational Program.
Kyrah Williams is a junior in the Eberly College of Science at The Pennsylvania State University, studying biology, the genetics option. She feels that by studying genetics she will be able to one day lead research into how genetics affects our health and will be able to help people with this knowledge. Williams is a Millennium Scholar where she is doing research and learning how to be a leader to advance the frontiers of knowledge in the field of genetics. Williams is also a Presidential Leadership Scholar, where she is learning how to lead with nuance. During Spring of 2020, Williams volunteered in Baltimore Black Yield Institute/Cherry Hill Urban Garden where she learned about food deserts and helped in the community in their community garden. Raised in San Bernardino, California, Williams enjoys reading and socializing with her friends and family in her spare time.
Micah Richardson is a junior in the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Richardson is interested in investment management and financial advising. He is ultimately interested in building wealth within diverse communities and businesses. On campus, Richardson is Vice President of the Mu Zeta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., counselor/tutor for Summer Bridge and Project Uplift programs, and an active member of the Minority Business Student Alliance. Richardson is currently a Wealth and Investment Management Intern at Wells Fargo & Company. Raised in Concord, North Carolina, Richardson enjoys playing soccer, listening to music, and staying active.
Samara Zinnerman is a student at Michigan State University, with a GPA of 3.86, majoring in human biology with a double minor in sociology and women and gender studies. Zinnerman aspires to become a physician while continuing to serve underserved communities. She is a member of the Charles Drew Scholar Program currently serving as a mentor, a member of the MSU Honors College where she serves as Secretary for the Honors Students of Color Coalition, a member of the NPHC as the 2021-20221 Treasurer, and an active and financial member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. Having a love and passion to help others, Zinnerman is a mentor to high school students within the Chicago area and a math tutor for young learners. She is currently working for Michigan State’s Learning and Assessment Center as a Standardized Patient and volunteering as a research assistant for Burt’s Lab at MSU. Also, Zinnerman has secured her Phlebotomy certification and is actively looking for a potential position to excel her skills before applying for medical school. Her drive to serve doesn’t stop there, she also volunteers with the Richton Park Food Pantry in the South suburban area of Chicago and continues to work with children in any way that she can.
Selena Cade attends Grand Valley State University and majors in information systems with a minor in Business Management. In her two years at Grand Valley, she has been on the dean’s list. Cade is active in You Beautiful Black Women (YBBW), Black Excellence 365, Women in Computing, and GVSU Impact. Outside of college, Cade is a part of the Michigan Council of Women in Technology (MCWT). As a part of her growth and development, she seeks opportunities to gain knowledge in information systems and business. In her spare time, she enjoys sailing and swimming. Cade is compelled to make a difference in impacting young girls who have a passion for technology and giving back to her community. Her parents are active participants in her success. Cade anticipates graduating with honors in May 2023.
Sofia Ongele is a creative technologist, activist, and student at Fordham University studying computer science and political science. Every semester, she has garnered a placement on the dean’s list for exceptional academic achievement and takes these talents outside of the classroom to apply them to her passions. Ongele has taught 160-plus girls worldwide how to code as an Instructor Assistant at Kode With Klossy – a nonprofit aiming to close the STEM gender gap – and is an Intern for the organization. Outside of employment, Sofia strives to use her skills for social good, and has created numerous applications to better her communities. Her most notable development is ReDawn, an award-winning app to empower and support sexual violence survivors featured in publications like Teen Vogue and BET. Because of Ongele’s leadership as a community organizer, she has made institutional changes in her hometown, as featured in CNN, NBC, and InStyle.
Taylor Gray is a junior, majoring in management information systems at the University of Georgia. During her college career thus far, Gray has been actively involved in the Black Student Union, the Black Affairs Council, Georgia Daze Minority Recruitment, and the Student Government Association. Gray also planned and coordinated the University of Georgia’s first inaugural Black Student Convocation. She is committed to improving the Black undergraduate experience at the University of Georgia. Gray has served as a volunteer mentor and tutor for underprivileged elementary-school youth at Dream Academy and Thomas Lay Community Center. She aspires to continue serving the community in her future, hoping to be the change for a better tomorrow. From Augusta, Georgia, Gray enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and listening to good music.
Ty’Yanna Johnson is a sophomore student that attends Ramapo College of New Jersey. At Ramapo College of New Jersey, she is a biology major with a 3.48 GPA. Currently, Johnson works at Shoprite of Little Falls while also supporting community service projects affiliated with her church. These programs include food and clothing distribution periodically throughout the year. At her school, she is a peer facilitator, which is a student leader that helps first-year students with their transition upon entering college.