Meet the LEAD Scholars

Their chosen fields are as diverse as their stories — from medicine to business and the stage, to the vast reaches of space. They stand united in their bond as LEAD Scholars.

We welcome each of the incoming LEAD Scholars as they begin a journey that will educate, enrich, and enlighten themselves, their peers, and the University.

Scroll down to learn more about the LEAD Scholars.

(The cohort years represent when the LEAD Scholars started at the University of Michigan.)

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Abigail Haile 2022

Abigail Haile

2018 Cohort
| Canton, MI
LSA
B.A., Anthropology and Psychology
  • PALMA
  • SLIP
  • MMP

Abigail plans to begin working and preparing for a masters degree following graduation. Long term plans include pursuing community engagement/programming and librarianship.

What advice would you give to your fellow LEAD Scholars?

Balance and self-management is key.

Adaly Jimenez

Adaly Jimenez

2021 Cohort
| Waukegan, IL
Nursing

After graduation from Michigan, Adaly plans to eventually achieve the career goal of becoming a pediatric doctor. 

  • Waukegan High School
  • National Honor Society
  • Tri-Music Honor Society
  • Varsity Choir
  • Rendition Choir
  • Treble Choir
Adetola Ojo 2022

Adetola Ojo

2018 Cohort
| Byron Center, MI
LSA
B.S., Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience
  • Student Health and Wellness for Central Student Government – Senior Policy Advisor
  • LEAD Advisory Board – President
  • Black Student Union – Programming Chair

Adetola plans to take a gap year to work with underserved populations, and hopefully spend several months in Nigeria. Long term plans include attending and completing medical school.

How did the LEAD community — including fellow LEAD scholars — assist you throughout your time at Michigan?

This community has equipped Adetola with all of the tools to be successful not only during her time at Michigan, but also as she embarks on all post graduation adventures. Although LEAD has gifted her a plethora of academic and professional opportunities, from campus resources to internships to interview workshops and everything in between, the most valuable resource in LEAD has been all of the people she have been fortunate to meet. Adetola’s fellow scholars here have become some of her best friends and closest colleagues, while LEAD advisors have consistently been her biggest supporters and even role models. All of the driven, successful women she has been able to talk with during Women in LEADership each year have changed her life, even if it was in a seemingly small way. Adetola will forever attribute her successful college transition, as well as the fire that kept her at Michigan largely to feeling at home with LEAD.

What’s the biggest lesson Michigan taught you?

Adversity is inevitable, but it doesn’t shape your life–your resiliency does.

What advice would you give to your fellow LEAD Scholars?

Lean into your community, especially your LEAD community. They may not have all the answers, because no one ever does, but they will guide you while you figure it out and support you the whole way.

Adrienna Martinez

Adrienna Martinez

2016 Cohort
| Saginaw, MI
UM-Flint
Anthropology, Spanish, Linguistics, TESOL Certification

President of Anthropology Club (2 years), Volunteered with the English Language Program in Flint.

After graduation, Adrienna will be pursuing a career as a Bilingual ESL Specialist with future plans to pursue anthropological film making.

Aiden Jones

Aiden Jones

2020 Cohort
| Jacksonville, FL
Music, Theatre & Dance
Musical Theatre

After graduation from Michigan, Aiden wants to work in the professional theatre world, especially with a focus on works that are meaningful and bring focus to those whose voices are not heard in today’s society.

At Douglas Anderson School of the Art, Aiden was involved in:

  • International Thespian Honor Society
  • Interact Rotary Club (Secretary)
  • Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (Orienteering Team Commander)

Ainsley Ashman

2015 Cohort
Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Ainsley Ashman hopes to go into a career of public service. Ainsley is also a member of Central Student Government and Engineering Student Government on campus.

Airy Garcia

Airy Garcia

2019 Cohort
| Grand Rapids, MI
LSA
Biology, Health and Society, Minor in Latina/o Studies, Gender and Health

After graduation from Michigan, Airy will pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health. Career goal is to be an Obstetrician.

  • La Casa
  • Pre-Surgical Club
  • Health Science Scholars Program (HSSP)
  • Food Allergy Research

At Kelloggsville High, Airy played varsity tennis and ran track and cross country. She was also a class officer, co-captain of the Powerlifting Club, and founder of the Latino Student Union.

Alana Watlington

Alana Watlington

2021 Cohort
| Clarskston, MI
LSA
Biology

After graduation from Michigan, Alana plans to become successful in the world of science and contribute to society in an impactful way through chosen occupational goals.

Highschool, Activities, and Interests:

  • Clarkston High School
  • Varsity Volleyball
  • Varsity Track
  • National Honor Society
  • Executive board
  • Held a part-time job
Alanah Cardenas O Toole

Alanah Cardenas-O’Toole

2016 Cohort
| Farmington Hills, MI
Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Alanah will be attending graduate school post-graduation with future plans of getting a PhD.

Activities:

  • Destino
  • Latinidad
  • WISE RP
Aldo Pando Girard

Aldo Pando Girard

2018 Cohort
| Ypsilanti, MI
Engineering
Civil Engineering, Minor in Vocal Performance

After graduation from Michigan, Aldo will work at an engineering company. Career goal is to be comfortable, and support his family and community.

  • Black Leaders in Art Collective (president)
  • UM Slam Team

At Pioneer High School, Aldo ran indoor and outdoor track and varsity cross country. He was active in Slam Poetry and was a member of the Michigan Youth Chamber Singers.

Aleija Rodriguez

Aleija Rodriguez

2017 Cohort
| Monroe, MI
LSA
Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience

After graduation from Michigan, Aleija has plans to gain experience working as a lab tech for two years in the University of Michigan Dept. of Psychiatry.

Activities:

  • Quiz Bowl
  • Delta Lamba Phi
  • Psi Chi
  • Honors Program
Alejandro Echeverria

Alejandro Echeverria

2020 Cohort
| Miami, FL
Kinesiology
Belen Jesuit HS & Hong Kong International School

After graduation from Michigan, Alejandro desires a career in the sports industry and possibly attend graduate school. Career goal is to become one of the leading figures behind the scenes of sports, affecting positive change.

High school activities:

  • Varsity Soccer
  • Key Club International
  • Tutoring Club
Alex Maldonado

Alex Maldonado

| Detroit, MI
Engineering
Computer Engineering

After graduation from Michigan, Alex plans to work in the Computer Engineering industry, then would like to earn a master’s degree to become a teacher later in life.

  • La Casa
  • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)

As a high school student, Alex played baseball and was a member of the Congress of Communities of Southwest Detroit Youth Council. He also co-founded the Latino Culture Club.

Alexander Vega Hernandez

Alexander Vega-Hernandez

2021 Cohort
| Detroit, MI
LSA
Computer Science

After graduation from Michigan, Alexander plans to continue gathering knowledge and experience relating to computer science at both the community and international level. Other career goals include continuing to improve presentation and teamwork skills while providing opportunities to different communities. 

Highschool, Activities, and Interests:

  • Western International High School
  • Junior ROTC
  • Sneaker Reselling
  • Volunteer Service
  • Church group
Alexander Yoder

Alexander Yoder

2018 Cohort
| Plymouth, MI
Business
Finance
  • LEAD
  • MSBO
  • Men’s Club Lacrosse

Alexander plans to begin working for KPMG in financial valuation, and always continue to complete goals that make him happy.

How did the LEAD community — including fellow LEAD scholars — assist you throughout your time at Michigan?

The LEAD community has been very supportive during Alexander’s time on campus. 

What’s the biggest lesson Michigan taught you?

Overall the most important lesson that Alexander has gained from Michigan is to be humble no matter what.

Alexandra Murray

2016 Cohort
| Chicago, IL
Kinesiology
Health and Fitness

Michigan Muscle Club (President), Wolverine Fit Crossfit Club (President)

Andy plans to go on a vacation post-graduation and plans to rescue a bunch of shelter dogs.

Alexandra Owens

Alexandra Owens

2017 Cohort
| Mableton, GA
LSA
Film, Television and Media, Minor in American Culture

After graduation from Michigan, Alexandra has plans to potentially work for a talent agency or at the very least working in some form of television production or development.

Activities:

  • The Michigan Daily
  • 2020 College Media Pinnacle Award Winner – Best Column

Alexis Wilson

2015 Cohort
UM-Dearborn
Arts, Sciences, and Letters

Alexis is studying criminal justice and hopes to be a criminal defense lawyer one day. Alexis also participates in the cheerleading team.