Point Scholar 2007 – 2009
Soraya was raised in Richmond, Virginia. Born into a family of insularity, she quickly learned that any familial support she was to receive would emerge in a place irrelevant to biological parity. Soraya came out at as lesbian at the age fifteen and her honesty only worsened relations with her family. Her mother also identifies as lesbian but was absent most of Soraya’s life due to a drug addiction. Gradually, Soraya found herself unable to cope with her family’s abuse while maintaining academic excellence within her high school’s International Baccalaureate program. As a result, at the age of seventeen, Soraya was forced to move out of her home to find the peace needed to focus on her academics and complete her high school education. She and her then partner rented an apartment together until Soraya began her matriculation at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.
Soraya graduated from Spelman, majoring in both Spanish and Comparative Women’s Studies. While there, she served as the vice-president of Afrekete (Spelman’s LGBTQ organization). With Afrekete, Soraya was actively engaged in changing the social environment in Atlanta and Spelman, a somewhat conservative campus. She plans to attend law school to become an international attorney with a focus on civil rights for women, queer-identified individuals and African Americans.