Maneeya Leung and Abi Rajasekaran have been awarded Dr. Jean L. Harris Scholarships from the Eden Prairie Community Foundation.
The $1,000 scholarships being awarded to the two seniors at Eden Prairie High School recognize their outstanding work in areas including human rights, diversity, inclusion and equity, and can be renewed for an additional three years of college, for a total of $4,000 apiece.
The Harris Scholarship is named in honor of Dr. Jean Harris, Eden Prairie mayor from 1996 to 2001. Harris was Eden Prairie’s first female mayor and first Black mayor, and one of her many accomplishments while in office was the community adoption of the Eden Prairie Manifesto, a statement of Eden Prairie’s dedication to upholding freedom, dignity, and security regardless of one’s religious affiliation, race, ethnic heritage, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, or economic status.
Scholarship applicants are required to submit written essays or short videos explaining their volunteer work in and thoughts about human rights, diversity, and inclusion.
Rajasekaran plans to attend Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, to study cognitive science and public health. She has been involved in organizations including Model United Nations, Women’s Rights Club, UNICEF Club, National Honor Society, and Youth in Government Club. As a recent activity for National Women’s History Month, she helped organize the creation of care packages for residents of a women’s shelter.
Leung will attend the University of Wisconsin in Madison to study global health and science communications. She has been involved in the anti-racism organization at EPHS known as Dare 2 Be Real and is editor of The Eyrie school magazine. She has also been a part of ThreeSixty Journalism at the University of St. Thomas, which is a multi-media storytelling program for diverse Minnesota high school students.
Iqra Salad, a 2021 graduate of Eden Prairie High School and student at Northeastern University in Boston, is also the recipient of a second-year Harris Scholarship, the Foundation announced.
The Foundation’s scholarship program was recently expanded thanks to a generous bequest by the late Basil and Mary Jane Wissner, longtime Eden Prairie residents who were supporters of Harris and the scholarship created in her name.