Three Black Graduate Students Receive Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships

Paul Soros, a Hungarian Jew, immigrated to the United States after surviving the Nazi occupation of his country during World War II. Soros made a fortune as head of a large New York City engineering firm. His brother George Soros made a fortune on Wall Street and is now a leading philanthropist and liberal political activist.

Slightly more than a decade ago, Paul and Daisy Soros set up a $50 million endowment fund that would provide scholarships for graduate study for “New Americans.” As immigrants themselves, the Soroses know that newcomers to this country often need a helping hand.

Each year the scholarships are available to resident aliens, naturalized citizens, or children of naturalized citizens under the age of 30. The 30 students who are awarded Soros Fellowships for New Americans each receive $20,000 and up to $16,000 to cover half of their graduate school tuition.

This year three of the Soros Fellows went to black students:

Sava Berhané is a first year student at Yale Law School. Her parents were both born in Ethiopia but now live in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Berhané graduated with honors from Mount Holyoke College, where she served as president of her class and chair of the black student association. She worked for the Obama presidential campaign in Alabama.

Ayirini Fonseca-Sabune is a student at Harvard Law School. Her father is a naturalized citizen from Uganda. Her mother was born in Guyana. The family now lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Fonseca-Sabune is an honors graduate of Harvard University. After graduation from college she spent time working in prisons and in a community health training program in Rwanda.

Marianna Ofosu is a graduate of Howard University, where she majored in the classics. After college she went to Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and earned a master’s degree in developmental studies. She is now enrolled at Yale Law School. Ofosu was born in Poland to a Polish mother. Her father is from Ghana. She came to the United States at age 11 and is now a naturalized citizen.