2023 Milken ScholarsPhoto 6 of 21
Eyael Hailmariam, the salutatorian at James A. Foshay Learning Center, is committed to educating her community. The president of the Financial Literacy Division on Taxes for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Student Voice, Eyael designed and offers workshops on tax preparation, a skill she learned while helping file business taxes for the restaurant her mother co-owns. For iFeminist, Eyael wrote a paper on American scientist Bessie Blount Griffin, who developed a feeding tube for war veterans. Eyael produced videos about anthropologist Eslanda Robeson, chemist Alice Ball and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris that were shown at LAUSD Local District Central meetings and Foshay's Black History and Women's History Month events.
Eyael is an AP Scholar, Ron Brown Captain, QuestBridge College Prep Scholar, Jordan Wings Scholar, IPC Scholar and Vanderbilt Crescere Aude Scholar. She worked to detect gene mutations in colon cancer as an intern at the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine and researched health disparities affecting transgender people with HOSA-Future Health Professionals. A member of the Los Angeles Mayor's Youth Council, Eyael developed Sprout About Town, a campaign to combat food deserts by planting community gardens. Responding to the racial unease that followed the murder of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests, Eyael co-founded South Central Youth United, leading student discussions about racial identity, internalized racism and implicit bias, microagressions and hate speech. Her work with public policy consultancy EVITARUS and the LAUSD Focus Group for African Americans helped lead the district to cut police on school campuses and redirect funds to the Black Student Achievement Program.
Eyael has worked to raise awareness of "period poverty," inadequate access to menstrual hygiene products and education. As director of programming for Colors of Coats, she coordinated the donation of menstrual products to women in Florida. She is a youth group instructor at her church and an accomplished trombone player.
Eyael will study biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt University and plans a career in biomedical research.
All photos should be credited to "Milken Family Foundation" unless otherwise noted.