The National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Houston Section gathered at Brookdale, Galleria on April 28, to honor the 2019 Lee K. Feine Scholarship winner and to hear University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) Dean and Professor Leonard M. Baynes discuss the Prelaw Pipeline Program. This special program helps students from underrepresented populations enter law school, thereby increasing diversity within the legal community.
“Only 15 percent of the attorneys in the United States are people of color,” Dean Baynes pointed out. “There are plenty of bright, talented minority and first-generation college students out there,” he said, “but many lack role models and access to preparatory programs.” The Prelaw Pipeline Program which he created at UHLC aims to increase diversity in the field of law by providing LSAT preparation, introductory law school classes, internships, mentorships, and professional development sessions for undergraduate students who are first generation, low income, or members of groups who are underrepresented in the legal profession. The Pipeline hosts students from across the country and helps them earn places in law schools.
Diversity is also an issue for this year’s Lee K. Feine Scholarship winner, Marilyn Dunn, a junior from Prairie View A&M University School of Nursing. “I believe that diversity is the key to unity,” says Dunn, who hopes to travel to other countries where she can use her nursing skills to build bridges among cultures.
The Feine is a $1500, unrestricted award given to one college junior, senior or graduate student from the Houston area who is entering a profession such as healthcare, education, social work, Jewish Studies or any career that serves the community. Founded by Lee K. Feine more than 30 years ago, it has gone to nurses, pharmacists, teachers, social workers, law students and psychologists and others who hope to make the world a better place.
To that end, Dunn has helped build a well for people in Guatemala without a reliable source of clean drinking water. She has also worked with Bread of Life, the Multiple Dystrophy Association, CanCare, Sanders Hand Organization and Texas Miss Amazing, while working as a aid in a senior care facility, serving on various school committees, and consistently making Dean’s List and honor roll.
“We are proud to be able to support deserving and inspiring students like Ms. Dunn through the NCJW GHS Lee K. Fein Scholarship,” said NCJW GHS Co-President Lisa Stanton. “In addition to the Fein Scholarship, we provide scholarships to participants in our partner programs like AVDA (Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse) and PAL (Preparation for Adult Living). This year we have already gifted a total of $5,000 to deserving AVDA and PAL clients. These scholarships give students the ability to cover gaps that are often not covered by typical grants or scholarships, such as books for a mom going back to school after leaving her abuser or room deposits for a former foster youth who has aged out of the system and for whom tuition may be covered but not any of the extras that come along with independent living.”
NCJW GHS thanks Brookdale for generously sponsoring this year’s event.
NCJW is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.