Ford student Yasmine Elkharssa is U-M’s 30th Truman Scholar! The Truman Scholarship was established by Congress in 1975 to carry on the legacy of the 33d president by encouraging and inspiring future public service leaders. It provides up to $30,000 for both graduate education and professional development for outstanding juniors committed to public service leadership.
When asked why she applied, Yasmine stated, “I applied to this award to prove that Arab and Muslim women belong in spaces where we have been rarely represented. Whether that be in the federal government, law school, or service-focused careers, I wanted to prove that my community exists and is making an impact beyond the stereotypes confined to us.”
After graduation, Yasmine plans to pursue a J.D. with concentrations in Government and Civil Rights. This background will give her the knowledge necessary to practice law in the federal government and advocate against discrimination based on class, race, gender, and religion at the federal level.
Yasmine notes that the application process pushed boundaries that she had never crossed before in her academic career, noting, "It made me really think about the impact I want to make with my career and my life, and try to sort out exactly where and how that would be. It's no easy task but it was extremely rewarding. To future applicants, I would say: don't self-sabotage.... APPLY! You never know how far you're going to get, and no matter what the process will open doors for you, whether you know it or not."
Steven Driest from Michigan and Leilani Fonseca from Illinois were also finalists for the scholarship, making this the 3d year in a row that the University of Michigan had two finalists and one recipient.
To learn more about Yasmine and her future plans, read this article from the University Record.