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Lieba’s Legacy Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,000
Application Deadline
Apr 25, 2025
Winners Announced
May 25, 2025
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Psychology or Social Work
Education Level:

Lieba Joran was a budding artist and lyricist who cared deeply about all people, regardless of their popularity or social standing. 

When she was young, Lieba witnessed a friend being teased by her older sibling. Lieba stood on a chair and chastised the big sister, protesting, “Stop that! Can’t you see she doesn’t like it?” Years later on a bus in middle school, Lieba rebuked girls who were teasing another girl with Down’s Syndrome, telling them to leave her alone, that this is the way the Creator made her. Lieba was a sensitive, caring, and intellectually gifted person who sought to do justice and devoted herself to helping others. Lieba’s Legacy Scholarship is intended to further Lieba Joran’s mission of nurturing kindness, pursuing justice and creating harmony in society.

Eligible to apply are undergraduate students with a 3.5 GPA looking to pursue a career in psychology or social work. Preference will be given to homeschooled students. To apply, write an essay explaining how your career goals will benefit traditionally misunderstood, gifted children like Lieba.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published June 7, 2024
Essay Topic

Explain how your career goals will foster the social-emotional well being and meet the intellectual needs of gifted children.

400–800 words

Winners and Finalists

May 2024

Brittany Whaley
Nalani Bennett
Lauren Sobolik
Samantha Dixon
Lindsey Monroy
Joseph Jones
Tiegan Smith
Meagan Allender
Elizabeth Hubbard
Stephanie Bennett
Yordanos Bizuneh
Michaela Heller
Kaylee Wilber
Claire Gamble
Katelyn Guensch
Andrew Chafin
Jonah Cartwright
Lillian Shern
Siera Schmitt
Cameron Gibson
Hannah Overton
Paul Dong
Alessandra Ripepi
Ryleigh Herzberger

June 2023

James DeLano
Caleb Peterson
Deanna Parks
Mya Englert
Lucas Morris
Alex Burnham
Kaius Legg
amanda laczko
Kaelin Bunting
Jeremy Yiu
Ashton Hawk
Gracie Swallen
Renee Adel
Wyatt Johnson
Kaitlyn Bassford
Isaac Wang
Michael Bennie
Kaia Johnson
Ethan Jackson
Chloe Divers
Miley Utsch
Charlie Wilkerson
Megan Conklin
Cheyenne Rose
David Wilson
Ava Deprey
Jadyn Kelly
Miranda Dennehy
Emily Uhlhorn
Ruhma Tarar
Clara Gregory
Grace Lieberman
Marlissa Morgan
Hunter-Rae Gilbert
Mackenzie Hathaway
brendan cook
Inti Swiecki
Akasha Lopez
Hailey Lopez
Michael Park
Tyer Cowin
Samantha Horning

Winning Application

Malka Heidingsfeld
Associated Beth Rivkah SchoolsBrooklyn, NY
Tehilla Katz
College of Mount Saint VincentTeaneck, NJ
At ten years old, I longed to be normal. I was a contradiction of smarts. I read at a high school level and included sophisticated words in every sentence. (Looking back, I realize I likely didn't comprehend a third of what I said). Emotionally, I lagged. I was shy and socially awkward. I couldn't apply my book knowledge on the playground. The other girls in my class were a complete enigma to me. I craved acceptance, longing for the right words to communicate. My imagination became my escape, where everything made sense. That’s when I met Daelle.  I didn’t know that she was a therapist. All I knew was that my mother would take me out of school early every Wednesday and drive me to a part of town I didn’t know. Right on the dot at 3 o'clock, the door would swing open and I'd walk down the carpeted hallway towards the big room at the end. Until now, my life was divided between girls at school and out-of-touch adults. Daelle was neither. She had luxurious curls that she wore piled up onto her head. She always smelled faintly flowery and, of course, wore lipstick, (which to ten-year-old me was the height of sophistication). Most intriguing, though, was that she didn’t think I was strange. She neither saw me as a child genius nor as the socially awkward gremlin that I felt like. She spoke to me the way I wanted to be spoken to, as if she was really listening.  Painstakingly, she worked with me. We discussed the girls in my class and ways to respond to them. I spoke about my loneliness and how i longed to be accepted. The words that wouldn’t come in recess poured out here. In this big office with the art supplies in the corner, I was safe.  Therapy is not a cure-all, and I didn't find every session enjoyable. Sometimes I would defiantly swing my legs against the chair and refuse to engage. Daelle showed admirable patience. On those days, she would give me permission to draw using the colored pencils I cherished. We rehearsed different situations. What should I say during recess? What did this social cue mean? Little by little, we unraveled the mysteries of middle school girl-talk. Step by step, we made progress. By the time we finally parted, I was heading to junior high. My confidence increased significantly, and recess stopped being terrifying. I’m ashamed that I don’t even remember saying goodbye to Daelle. I was ready to be a grownup (read, seventh grade) and quickly forgot about her.  I didn't truly forget.  When I look in the mirror these days, I see a 24-year-old woman, finally old enough to wear lipstick. Only I see that lonely ten-year-old that saw the world through a distant looking glass and feared it. I have a sense of protectiveness towards her and gratitude for the woman with curly hair whom I met every Wednesday. There is not the slightest doubt in my mind about my future. I am determined to be a clinical psychologist, and a good one, too. When timid little girls walk into my practice, I want to be there for them.  After all, someone did it for me.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 25, 2025. Winners will be announced on May 25, 2025.