Meet the Key into Public Service Scholars

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”  

− Edward Everett Hale (ΦBK, Harvard College, 1839)

Drawing inspiration from the many Phi Beta Kappa members who have shaped the course of our nation, the Society’s Key into Public Service program highlights specific pathways for liberal arts and sciences graduates seeking public service careers. The Society is pleased to announce the selection of 20 remarkable recipients of $5,000 undergraduate scholarships given to liberal arts and sciences majors with a demonstrated interest in public sector work. 

Jessia Avila, McDaniel College

Veronica Backer-Peral, Loyola Marymount University

Mikaela Benton, Elon University

Zeyu Chen, University of Pennsylvania

Hadiyah Cummings, Howard University

Brevin Franklin, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Bennet Franz, Roanoke College

Diana Gavrykh, Temple University

Saman Haddad, University of California, Los Angeles 

Madeline Handy, University of California, Davis

Robert Henson, University of Alabama

Wasiq Javed, University of Houston

Mariam Khayata, Rhodes College

Darin Li, Williams College

William McCarter, Pennsylvania State University

Maria Oliveira, University of Connecticut -Stamford

Nitan Shanas, Rutgers University-Camden

Oluwanifemi Shola-Dare, University of Washington

Nicholas Sligh, Stanford University

Alyssa Tamboura, University of California, Santa Cruz

Selected from 636 applicants attending Phi Beta Kappa chapter institutions across the nation, the Key into Public Service Scholars hail from 14 states and three countries. The college sophomores and juniors display a wide variety of academic interests, from a math and history double major to a philosophy and legal studies student. Each scholar will take part in a virtual convening in late June, which will include training, mentoring, and reflection on pathways into active citizenship in the tradition of Phi Beta Kappa’s founders.

“The academic achievement, breadth and depth in the liberal arts and sciences, and demonstrated interest in public service of these accomplished students truly stand out, even among the many impressive applicants we reviewed from chapter campuses across the nation,” said ΦBK Secretary and CEO Frederick M. Lawrence. “At this time in our country when the value of expertise, experience, and service is very clear, the Society proudly applauds them for their pursuit of liberal arts and sciences excellence in the public interest.”

You can learn more about our Key into Public Service Scholars at If you are interested in exploring a career in public service, please join the Society for an inspiring panel featuring fellow Phi Beta Kappa members on the evening of June 25. Find additional details and register online for this event at