The three pillars of HALO are housing, healing and education. The kids who come to us are hungry for more than just food. That's why HALO works to provide our kids with the education they deserve to put them on a path to a positive future. HALO youth Tiana and Marjai are perfect examples of this.
4 years ago, Tiana became the recipient of our first domestic scholarship. She graduated from Metropolitan Community College with her Associate’s Degree, then transferred to UCM to complete her Bachelor’s degree. In 2017, she studied abroad in the Middle East and Europe, traveling and doing service work in Israel, Palestine, the Netherlands, France, and more. Tiana was also 1 of 10 students selected for a scholarship to do service in Tanzania. In December 2018, she graduated from University of Central Missouri with a major in International Studies and three minors in Political Science, Business Administration, and World Languages. Currently, Tiana is applying to graduate school programs to continue her studies.
Marjai started coming to the Learning Center through ReStart when she was 10 years old. She discovered her passion for writing novels and poetry, and found healing in her words. Marjai was the only freshman in her high school to be asked to join the poetry team. She has since competed and won several local and national competitions, traveling as far as California to compete. Through all of it, she has stayed involved in HALO by leading workshops, attending Holiday parties, and giving back in whatever way she can. Recently, KC Scholars awarded her with a $50,000 scholarship to Mizzou to study journalism.
We could not be more proud of Tiana and Marjai. They have both worked so hard to overcome their circumstances and create a better future for themselves, and their hard work has paid off. We know they have bright futures ahead of them, and will be celebrating with them every step of the way. Congratulations Tiana and Marjai!