Alyssa Burkhalter
Alyssa is a rising junior at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She is studying Double Bass at the Blair School of Music, with a second major in Psychology. After college, Alyssa is interested in a variety of pursuits, including joining the Peace Corps, practicing music therapy or other social work, and being a freelance musician. Alyssa’s passions outside of music include dance, volunteering as a piano teacher at W.O. Smith Music School, and attempting to keep her bonsai tree alive. Alyssa would like to thank her family and friends for their support, as well as AAFSW for this opportunity.
Sophia Lozano
Sophia Lozano is the daughter of Katrina Migliore and step-daughter of Thomas Migliore. She was born in the Philippines, and lived in China and Belgium.
She completed the IB Diploma Program and graduated from the International School of Brussels in 2020. She currently is a rising junior pursuing a Bachelors of Law in Global Law in Tilburg, the Netherlands.
Her aptitudes include communication arts, including public speaking, oral advocacy, and writing. Earlier in 2021, she was the chairwoman for the for-charity Tilburg Women’s Open, an online all-women’s debating tournament. At the same time, her team ended as finalists for the European Law Students Association 2021 National Moot Court Competition. She also wrote content for The Lakambini (Philippine-based online magazine). She serviced shelters for marginalized peoples. her interests include literature, history, and traveling and exploring.
She would sincerely like to extend her gratitude to God, her parents and her twin, her family and friends in the Philippines, and her colleagues, teachers, friends in Europe, as well as AAFSW for this fabulous opportunity. There truly is no end to her gratitude.
Winners of AAFSW Twice-Exceptional Merit Scholarship
Jasper Duval
Jasper Duval is a third-year student at Northeastern University pursuing a B.S. in Cultural Anthropology and Health Sciences, with a minor in Global Health. He is currently working for Dr. Liza Weinstein, department chair of Sociology and Anthropology at Northeastern, on her research regarding the legal exclusion of a slum in Mumbai, India. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has gotten involved with his local Food Not Bombs chapter making vegan meals from rescued produce for the local homeless population. In his free time, he sings in an a cappella group and makes earrings.
Narisara Mayer
Narisara Mayer is a 2021 graduate of McLean High School in McLean, Virginia and is the daughter of Paul and Chanisada Mayer. In August, she will begin her studies at Haverford College where she intends to major in astrophysics with a potential minor in Museum Studies. She is passionate about encouraging diverse representation in STEM fields, focusing in particular on LGBTQ+ perspectives. She hopes eventually to earn a PhD in astrophysics and to acquire a very large dog who will accompany her on outdoor hikes.  While a McLean High School student, Narisara was a 4-year member of their award-winning Science Olympiad team, serving as team captain her junior and senior years. Narisara also sang alto in the school’s advanced women’s choir and was a member of the school’s cross-country team.
Benjamin “Pins” Leese, Judy Felt Memorial Volunteerism Award
Growing up for me has been quite the unique experience due to my Dad’s U.S. Air Force career and my Mom’s U.S. State Department career, I have lived in nine different homes and attended eight different schools. I have come to love my family’s vagabond lifestyle and look forward to traveling to new places. I have used my artistic talents and my extroverted personality to educate myself and learn more during my college experience. By living about 25% of my life in Naples, Italy and Maseru, Lesotho, I have learned to blend into any surroundings and make friends from all over the world. Currently, I am a sophomore at Bowling Green State University majoring in art and design. I plan to use my degree to entertain, inspire, and influence the current world we live in. Over the years, my art has become more thought provoking, intricate, and diverse. While I am currently working at the Workhouse Arts Center, I plan to go further and use my experience to further my art education. I see a future in designing video games, working on graphic novels or using my talents to help the next generation of story tellers.  
Aaron Hilton, Best Essay Winner
Aaron Hilton is a rising junior at Princeton University pursuing an undergraduate degree at the School of Public and International Affairs. He is the son of two Foreign Service Officers, Robert and Olivia Hilton. He is also a Midshipman in the joint Princeton/Rutgers Navy ROTC Unit and is working towards a commission in the United States Navy.
Prior to college, Aaron was a professional ballet dancer with the Boston Ballet and with Miami City Ballet and continues his dancing at Princeton. This summer he worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories’ Center for Global Security Research, and completed submarine training at Kings Bay Naval Base in Georgia.