Bradley Tech High School senior Malyun Ali was recently awarded a $2,500 2019 STEM Forward Elizabeth Brauer Scholarship by STEM Forward and the Brauer Family.
Each year, STEM Forward awards a scholarship to a high school student who is planning to pursue a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) degree at a college or university in Wisconsin. STEM Forward believes that in order to add to Southeastern Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, they must provide as many opportunities to students as possible, big or small.
For 2019, STEM Forward received additional funding from the Brauer Family and the Elizabeth Brauer Scholarship was founded to support female, Milwaukee Public School seniors planning to pursue STEM. The scholarship recognizes the astonishing aptitude of young women in the Milwaukee Public School District.
Ali, a Milwaukee north side resident, was one of 23 highly qualified high school seniors who applied for the Elizabeth Brauer scholarship. Ali will attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee this fall to study computer science.
“Throughout high school, I studied computer science and I hope to inspire more women to join the field of computer science. Once I establish a successful career, I will support the Milwaukee community and establish opportunities for aspiring computer scientists,” said Ali. “I created a plan for self-improvement, including specific goals, tasks, and an annual self-review.”
Ali’s family fled Somalia and came to American when she was 4 years old. She described struggling to adjust to life in America; battling bullying, dyslexia, relocations, and feelings of isolation. While it would be easy to stray away from the challenges of education, Ali immersed herself in her classes and love for tech.
Not only did Ali flourish academically, graduating in the top 5% of her class, she also participated in a wide variety of extracurricular activities. Ali created a Model United Nations club, where she planned lessons, recruited students, and prepped members for conferences. As the president, she taught members about the different types of committees, parliamentary procedures, phases of committee, position papers, and resolutions.
Ali also joined Tech’s SkillsUSA club, where she improved her technical, workplace, and leadership skills. As if that is not enough, Ali went above and beyond and recognized the need to help the other refugee students that attend Bradley Tech High School. She provided information about nearby community resources, school course selection, places to hang out, and a prayer space for Muslim students.
“As a Somali refugee myself, I understand difficulties refugees face adjusting to American life and I used my experience to help them to grow,” added Ali. “My favorite internship was working for the City of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development because my mission was to improve Milwaukee’s struggling neighborhoods.”
Despite the hefty time commitment for academics and activities, Ali still found time to work and support her family, completing internships with GE Healthcare, the City of Milwaukee, and Starbucks.