ALEXANDRIA, VA – Comcast NBCUniversal recently awarded 28 high school graduates across Virginia one-time scholarships worth $2,500 each that will help fund their first year of college. The lone Alexandria recipient, Jatsuka “Mikaela” Pozo, graduated from T.C. Williams High School in June. She earned the Comcast Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship.
Pozo is a first-generation college student. At seven years old, she emigrated from Bolivia. She will begin a new chapter in her life when she attends George Mason University this fall.
College is a dream for her, and she told The Zebra that finding out she won the scholarship brought a sense of relief. Pozo knew that financial assistance was the only way she could further her education.
“It was empowering to know that my hard work and experiences were being recognized and validated,” she said. “[Receiving the news] gave me hope about the possibility of going to college.”
She wants to major in either Government and International Politics or Economics Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.
“I want to be able to learn about the economic and political structures that exist in the United States and how they function,” she said. “By knowing how they function, I hope to be part of the efforts to help marginalized communities obtain political, social, and economic equality.”
Pozo strives to have a career where what she learns can be used directly. She wants to start out by working for UNICEF USA, the Children’s Defense Fund, and the ACLU. After gaining experience, she plans to become an attorney, helping immigrants like herself.
When asked how her time at T.C. has prepared her for the future, she said the years spent there taught her about community. Pozo mentioned how dedicated the faculty is to students, and how witnessing those interactions inspired her.
“Having been exposed to the diversity of the school in some way or another has helped me build empathy,” she said, “which I believe is the most valuable skill, especially as I enter college.”
About the Scholarship Program
The Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program recognizes high school seniors for their community service, academic performance, and leadership skills. The award is funded by the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation. Since 2001, more than $34 million has been awarded to about 30,000 high school seniors across the country as part of the Leaders and Achievers program.