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Meet the Winners of the 2021 Illustrating Awesomeness Scholarship

By February 18, 2022September 28th, 2022Whiteboard Animation
A pencil scribbles across a white page in cursive, "Illustrating Awesomeness Scholarship 2021"

Last week, we wrote about the ways that our core values – partnership, clarity, authenticity, and inventiveness – show up every day in our workplace. 

This week, we want to introduce you to four brilliant leaders who exemplify these values out in the world: the winners of our 2021 Illustrating Awesomeness scholarship.

Our Illustrating Awesomeness scholarship, awarded each year since 2017, directly supports young women or gender non-conforming individuals of color who are actively working to change the world. Students from around the country apply in the fall and winter for direct tuition assistance, to be awarded in the spring semester.

Our work making animated explainer videos is all about the impact good ideas can have when they are communicated in the world. We know that by investing in the visions of young people – especially those who have historically experienced marginalization – we create pathways for more amazing ideas to make it out into the world, and create a better future for all of us. 

We were inspired by the brilliant aspirations and dedicated passion of every single applicant who shared their story with us. Without further ado, we introduce you to our four winners of the Illustrating Awesomeness 2021 scholarship: 

RJ smiles in front of a sunny landscape



RJ Edrolin is a first-year student at the University of Southern California studying Cinema and Media Studies with a minor in Marketing. RJ is passionate about Southeast Asian representation in film, and plans to start their own production focusing on representative Asian media.







Obeaney Falaise is a first year student at UMass Boston studying nursing. Obeaney is a second-generation citizen to Haitian-born parents and speaks Haitian Creole fluently, with a proficiency in French. 





Ashlee smiles in front of a sandy background


Ashlee Diggles is a first-year student at the University of Arizona studying Computer and Electrical Engineering. As a Tucson native and a first-generation biracial woman, she looks forward to using the scholarship to not only further her education, but to give back to her community during and after college.





Sam smiles in engineering gear



Samantha Nakayiza is a student at Ohio State University studying Ecological Engineering.  Samantha was born in Uganda, and lived in a community that was vulnerable to flooding, unsafe drinking water and ineffective drainage systems. After moving to the United States and experiencing what it’s like to have proper access to environmental systems, Samantha decided to pursue a career in water infrastructure to support her community back home. She spends time mentoring other Black and immigrant students who want to pursue careers in STEM and environmental justice.





Congratulations to our winners, we truly can’t wait to cheer you on as you change the world!

You can read about previous recipients of the awards here:

2017 Winners

2018 Winners

2019 Winners

2020 Winners

Keep an eye out for our Illustrating Awesomeness 2022 Scholarship openings, coming in Fall 2022.