Meet the MLK Scholars

Meet the members of University of Louisville Martin Luther King Scholar cohorts, discover their areas of interest, and learn how they serve.

Meet the current members and alumni of  Martin Luther King Scholar cohorts, discover their areas of interest, and learn how they serve. 

Current Scholars

Class of 2023
Class of 2022

Class of 2021
Class of 2020

Class of 2023

An image of a young woman standing in front of a brick wall. Rachel Burns
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Area of Interest: Spreading Awareness of Police Brutality through Art & Education
An image of a young woman standing in front of a brick wall. Sadie Finley
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Minority Youth Education & Support
A young man standing in front of a brick wall. Exile Lukudu
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Using Cultural Understanding to Eliminate Discrimination
A young woman standing in front of a brick wall. Arianna Moya Porras
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Increasing Hispanic Voter Engagement and Education
A young man standing in front of a brick wall. Marco Muñoz
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Removing Barriers and Increasing Opportunities for Immigrant Students
A young woman standing in front of a brick wall. Camila Perez
Hometown: Bowling Green, KY
Area of Interest: Cultivating Cultural Literacy & Decreasing Hiring Discrimination
A young woman standing in front of a brick wall. Olivia Ridgeway
Hometown: Versailles, KY
Area of Interest: Combatting Homelessness through Sustainable Housing and Food Programs
A young man standing in front of a brick wall. Gordon Rowe III
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Economically & Educationally Empowering Black Citizens in West Louisville
A young woman standing in front of a brick wall. Nyah Smith
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Improving Education for Black Students to Overcome Oppression
A young woman standing in front of a brick wall. Afi Tagnedji
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Affordable Healthcare

 

Class of 2022

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Caleb Asbury
Hometown: Maysville, KY
Area of Interest: Raising Net Neutrality Awareness 

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Tatiana Aliaga-Mendoza
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Working with Youth to Eliminate Discrimination 

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Aubreyauna Barnes
Hometown: Elizabethtown, KY
Area of Interest: Decreasing Violence through Comprehensive Education and Training for Police Officers

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Quintez Brown
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Poverty 

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David Echeverria
Hometown: Union, KY
Area of Interest: Increasing Hispanic Students' PSAT Participation 

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Jacquelyn Gesser
Hometown: Owensboro, KY
Area of Interest: Immigration 

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Boppa Godfrey
Hometown: Owensboro, KY
Area of Interest: Health and Education
 

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Makya Griffin
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Equitable Public Education 

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Maliya Homer
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Area of Interest: Leadership Education 

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Alexandra Watson
Hometown: Morganfield, KY
Area of Interest: Food Insecurity 

 

Class of 2021

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Maegan Helm
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Food Access in Low-Income Areas

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Lakynn Hodgens
Hometown: Springfield, KY
Area of Interest: Promoting Tolerance

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Jenna Huber
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Educational Inequality in Peru

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Arii Lynton
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Food Access in Low-Income Areas

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Kayla Payne
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Food Deserts on Reservations and in Low-Income Areas

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Abigail Posey
Hometown: Clarksville, IN
Area of Interest: Food Deserts in the West End and in Low-Income Areas

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Nicole Sparling
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Discrimination toward the Hispanic/Latino Community

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Martin Vasquez
Hometown: Campbellsville, KY
Area of Interest: Racial Discrimination

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KolbieVincent
Hometown: Brownsville, KY
Area of Interest: Wealth Inequality

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Dasia Woods
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Area of Interest: Achievement Gaps in Education


Class of 2020 

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Bayley Amburgey
Hometown: Partridge, KY
Area of Interest: Intercultural Engagement

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Tahja Banks
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Peace through Artistic Expression

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Max Carter
Hometown: Crestwood, KY
Area of Interest: LGBTQ Rights

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Elias Chavez
Hometown: Partridge, KY
Area of Interest: Intercultural Engagement

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Mikayla Demetrakis
Hometown: Union, KY
Area of Interest: Religious Stereotypes

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Briee Wood
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Area of Interest: Refugee Integration

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Ricardo Sosa
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Educational Support for Immigrants

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Ephraim Otieno
Hometown: Richmond, KY
Area of Interest: Access to Higher Education

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Maria Martinez
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Poverty and Homelessness

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Taylor Little
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Poverty and Homelessness


MLK Scholars Alumni

Class of 2017
Class of 2018 
Class of 2019

Class of 2017

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Courtney Brown
Hometown: Crestwood, KY
Area of Interest: Access to Quality Education and Workplace Discrimination
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Resilient Families Project at Wayside Christian Mission
Year 2: The Cabbage Patch Settlement House

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Isaiah Lewis
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Area of Interest: Equality through Fair Taxation
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Family Scholar House

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Jason Jewell
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Poverty and Equal Rights
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Family & Children's Place

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Jazmen Conner
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Area of Interest: Understanding through Intercultural Engagement
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Down's Syndrome of Louisville

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Korri Woods
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Social Equality as a Globally Engaged Citizen
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Down's Syndrome of Louisville

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Robyn Blackman
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Access to Quality Education
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Kentucky Refugee Ministries
Year 2: New Roots Internship

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Thomas Gordon III
Hometown: Cecilia, KY
Area of Interest: Access to Quality Health Care
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Resilient Families Project at Wayside Christian Mission
Year 2: The Cabbage Patch Settlement House

Class of 2018 

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Jonas Bastien
Hometown: Glasgow, KY
Area of Interest: Universal Health and Wellness
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Louisville Grows Community Garden

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Jamila Bland
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Louisville Grows Community Garden

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Kala Brown
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Area of Interest: Civil Rights
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Neighborhood House

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Jamitra Fulleord
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: LGBTQ Rights
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Fairness Campaign & ACLU of Kentucky
Year 2: Kentuckians for the Commonwealth Intern

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Des Lane
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Access to Quality Education
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Fairness Campaign
Year 2: ESSENCE Youth Mentoring Project

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Jacob Markert
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Poverty and Institutional Racism
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Louisville Free Public Library (Iroquois Branch) Conversation Cafes

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Cornelius Sanford
Hometown: Eminence, KY
Area of Interest: Youth Advocacy & Mentorship
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Americana Community Center
Year 2: Peace, Justice & Conflict Transformation Intern & Boy's Club

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Karen Udoh
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Fair Trade Inclusion
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Neighborhood House

Class of 2019

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Manuela Botaka
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Area of Interest: Gender Discrimination
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Family Scholar House & Louisville Free Public Library (Iroquois Branch)

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Noela Botaka
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Area of Interest: Prejudices Against Minority Populations
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Down's Syndrome of Louisville

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Elijah Ervin
Hometown: Union County, KY
Area of Interest: LGBTQ Rights
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Americana Community Center

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Erica Gaither
Hometown: Caldwell County, KY
Area of Interest: Women's Empowerment
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Americana Community Center

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Mariana Juarez
Hometown: Shelby County, KY
Area of Interest: Economic Disparity
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Kentucky Refugee Ministries

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Elizabeth Peña
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Immigration Rights
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: La Casita & Family Scholar House

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John Rhodes
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Area of Interest: Community Development in Low Income Areas
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Wayside Christian Mission Hotel Louisville

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Leonardo Salinas
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Immigration Rights
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: UofL Cultural Center, working with Hispanic/Latino Initiatives

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Nuri Thompson
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: Economic Disparity
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Louisville Free Public Library (Iroquois Branch) Conversation Cafes

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Taylor Hinna Williams
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Area of Interest: LGBTQ Rights & Women's Empowerment
Service Initiatives:
Year 1: Louisville Free Public Library (Iroquois Branch) Conversation Cafes