Empowering Others Through Education
Andrew Dressel and Chris Malikschmitt are constantly looking for ways to empower those around them. Knowing that education is the foundation from which change is built, they are excited to offer a scholarship to a committed student pursuing studies in social justice, criminal justice reform, immigration rights, or civil rights. These areas of study are important to both Andy and Chris as they strive to better the world around them through their own work.
Meet the Team
Andy and Chris are attorneys working in New Jersey. Their firm focuses on commercial litigation, cryptocurrency, outside general counsel services, appellate and litigation cases, and more. They are grateful for the education they’ve been able to receive and are excited to further the education of others.
Chris Malikschmitt lives in Central New Jersey with his wife and their three young children. When he has free time, which is rare, he enjoys reading short stories and local sightseeing as a licensed pilot.
Andrew Dressel, a life-long New Jerseyan and former social studies teacher, enjoys classical music and is an avid New York Red Bulls fan. However, he spends most of his time with his children, Charlotte and Hamilton, and his two dogs, Luna and Nova.
This award is offered twice per year, in the fall and spring semesters. It is not needs based. Applicants must:
- Be accepted, or planning to apply, to an accredited college in the United States.
- Be interested in pursuing a degree in social justice, immigration rights, criminal justice, civil rights, or another program that advances justice for others.
This scholarship provides one $1,000 award to one student for either the fall or the spring semester. The scholarship recipient will be notified of their award by January 15, 2024 for the Spring 2024 scholarship award.
Past Scholarship Recipients
Kennedi Harmon | Spring 2024
Losing my father and other family members into the criminal justice system brought my attention to the law. Many of them were on their “third strike” and had public defenders who seemed to be on their tenth case of the day.
The odds were against their favor since birth; their environment and education were poor.
Omar Serrano | Fall 2023
“Are you sure? A lot could change within a year.”
In 2019, I decided to take a gap year after college and understood the worry in my mother’s voice. Thoughts of my grandmother’s struggles during her immigration to the U.S., my mother dropping out of community college after her first semester due to hardship, and fears of deportation of family members raced through my mind. Uncertainty has been a prevailing theme in our family, and pausing my studies meant that I assumed a risk for my future and my family’s.
Daniel Valverde | Spring 2023
Through my professional experiences in affordable housing, I quickly noticed the lack of representation for marginalized communities and how that led to negative impacts on those same communities. After pursuing a career in public policy, I found that I am especially passionate about developing affordable housing for seniors, veterans, and people with special needs. I am currently enrolled in a Master’s in Public Administration program at the University of San Francisco, which will prepare me for public leadership roles that will allow me to work to alleviate the displacement of current and long-term residents in the community.
Ronion Brown | Fall 2022
Becoming an advocate and service to others in the disabled community is my purpose. Being born with mild cerebral palsy influenced my passion for becoming a mentor for disabled children. My condition did not allow me to have a normal childhood because I was restricted from many activities. Although I have progressed with support from my doctors and family, achieving my dreams has not been easy. I plan to launch a daycare and community center for young children that will allow me to support children who have similar circumstances.
Matthew Locke | Spring 2022
I have worked with children and their families as a middle school teacher and basketball coach for the past seven years. From Brookyln to the Bronx to Chicago, immersing myself into diverse communities has essentially been at the heart of my job. Although I originally planned to attend law school immediately after graduating from college in 2012, I decided to spend a year teaching instead and genuinely enjoyed it so much that I decided to continue much longer. Besides my love for kids in general, the reason this work was so gratifying for me is because it gave me an opportunity to push, motivate, and inspire the youth who hold unlimited potential.