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Spring 2022 Law Office of Shane R. Kadlec Public Service Scholarship Winner

Tionna Taite

Tionna Taite

Tionna Taite is a passionate student who aspires to make a significant impact in the legal profession and her educational community. In her essay, Tionna details how she hopes to be an advocate for other minority students and those who may not have a voice. After finishing law school, Tionna hopes to become an intellectual property attorney, dedicate time to pro bono work, and contribute to her community through philanthropy.

Read Tionna's Essay:

A lasting mark has been left on me. No, not like a stain. More like an internal imprint that stains my character. My grandmother’s influence can be seen through my responses to life’s various circumstances. Discussions on my grandmother’s porch educated me of the history of my hometown, Montgomery, Alabama, as well as the prejudice my grandmother endured during her youth. In 1961, the Ku Klux Klan trespassed onto my great-grandfather’s property. While only seven years old, my grandmother consoled her six siblings as they huddled in the corner of their parents’ room in Evergreen, Alabama. Through her stories of injustice, I have developed a social consciousness that aims to give a voice to victims who would otherwise not get a chance to be heard.

The disproportionate amount of minority students who are unable to easily pursue their educational goals also motivates me to obtain a law degree. I will not only strive to be an intellectual property attorney, which is one of the least diverse fields of law, but I will also increase educational opportunities for underprivileged and minority students. This is extremely important to me because many minority students have talents and aspirations that are often vacated because they do not have access to the basic educational resources they need.

As a Black female attorney, I will take initiative and advocate for minority students from all backgrounds so they can freely pursue an education without any financial hindrances. I will utilize my legal experience to challenge the laws that create educational barriers for minority students. In addition, I will challenge the systems that allow racial inequities to persist in education, housing, and the justice system. A law degree would grant me the needed expertise to adequately address and initiate societal change as a public servant.

As I plan for college and my career goals, the Law Office of Shane R. Kadlec Public Service Scholarship is the link that assists with the present and future college expenses that I will encounter throughout my academic career at the University of Alabama School of Law. Not only do I aspire to be an intellectual property attorney, I also desire to positively impact society through charitable programs as a philanthropist. Ultimately, the Law Office of Shane R. Kadlec Public Service Scholarship profoundly invests and contributes to my future by enabling me to afford a law degree. By investing in me, the Law Office of Shane R. Kadlec Public Service Scholarship also invests in the education of other students that I will be able to help in the future when I obtain my law degree.

All that I have become and am becoming has been molded by my grandmother’s gentle hands. Through her actions, stories, experiences, and conversations I have received a precious gem to carry with me as I endure life’s challenges. That precious gem is a ruby. Without that ruby, I would not have experienced firsthand the need for individuals that protect and aid their community as a public servant. I am fortunate to be the granddaughter of Ruby Booker.

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