Two Juniors receive Truman Scholarships

Two juniors from the University of Pennsylvania, Anea Moore and Stephen Damianos, have been awarded Harry S. Truman Scholarships, a merit-based award of as much as $30,000 that supports college students who plan to pursue careers in government or public service and who wish to attend graduate or professional school in order to help prepare them for careers in public service. They are among 59 Truman Scholars selected this year from among 756 candidates nominated by 311 colleges and universities.

First-generation, low-income (FGLI) student leader Anea Moore, a lifelong Philadelphian, is majoring in sociology and urban studies with a concentration in law and a minor in Africana studies in the School of Arts and Sciences. After losing both of her parents in 2015, Penn’s FGLI community rallied around her, providing support.

In turn, she has become an advocate for the Penn First community on campus, creating a student-focused program housed at the Greenfield Intercultural Center, that provides services such as a food pantry, textbook assistance, and other resources to more than 1,000 students.

She serves as the assistant family-engagement coordinator at Lea Elementary School in West Philadelphia, where she works with families on parent engagement, community programming, and access to education. She plans to pursue a juris doctorate, along with graduate degrees in education and public policy.

Stephen Damianos from North Hampton, N.H., is studying political science and journalistic writing in the School of Arts and Sciences. A human-rights activist, he is the president and founder of Penn Undergraduates for Refugee Empowerment, an organization that empowers refugees with transferable skills needed to succeed as active citizens.

He has conducted research on the rising levels of incivility in politics and the judicial considerations in immigrant-bond proceedings. In addition, he has worked with the United Nations’ “Together” campaign, mobilizing university students for refugee advocacy. 

After his graduation in May 2019, he plans to pursue a juris doctorate with a focus on immigration law.

The students applied to the Harry S. Truman Scholarship program with assistance from Penn’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. They will receive their awards in a ceremony at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Mo., on May 27.