The Know Your Rights Scholarship Winners
2023 Winner: Mya Nobles
Biography: My name is Mya Alexandria Nobles, and I am from Mobile, Alabama. I have recently graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama with a B.A. in English and a minor in Criminal Justice. While in college, I served as an official ambassador for The University of Alabama where I regularly gave tours to people from all over the world during a time where the conversations surrounding social justice were prevalent. Furthermore, my involvement with outreach programs allowed me to form close relationships with individuals in underserved communities. Each of these opportunities of exposure aided in my ability to relate and interact with different types of people and understand their needs. It also sparked the creation of a multifaceted mindset and my passion for social Justice and fair representation for all.
Reaction Letter: I have realized that many issues are a product of a false dichotomy led by complex social misunderstandings. I believe entering into the legal field will allow me to help bridge the gap between the “us” and “them” phenomenon, which presently stains the relationship between members of the community and the agents in charge of protecting them. I am so grateful that The Nieves Law Firm recognizes the need for adequate awareness of individual rights and protections for all citizens, which is why I am beyond honored to be chosen as this year’s Know Your Rights Scholarship recipient. This scholarship will help alleviate some of the financial demands from law school and allow me to focus more on my studies. I look forward to joining the legal field and I am so blessed to have programs like this one to support my future endeavors.
2022 Winner: Hannah Eaton
Biography: My name is Hannah Eaton. I was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. I graduated from Indiana University with degrees in criminal justice and social work. I moved from the Midwest to the desert in August 2019 to begin the JD/MSW dual degree program at Arizona State University. I obtained my Master of Social Work degree, with a concentration in Children, Youth, and Families in May 2021. For that program, I had the opportunity to work with youth at a juvenile correctional facility, Adobe Mountain School.
I finished my law degree and graduated magna cum laude, Order of the Coif in May 2022. During law school, I was president of the Women Law Students Association. My moot court team competed in the NYC Bar National Moot Court Competition and advanced to semifinals. I fueled my passion for writing as Articles Editor of the Arizona State Law Journal. After taking the bar exam, I will be clerking for Judge Swann and Judge Cattani on the Arizona Court of Appeals. I aspire to be a public defender and work at the Maricopa County office after my judicial clerkship. I love living in Arizona and enjoy hiking, golfing, and camping around the state.
Reaction Letter: I’m extremely grateful to receive the Know Your Rights Scholarship. I will have student loans to be paid off after law school. Particularly, this scholarship will also help cover the bar prep course and bar application fees for the summer after law school. The award will also help offset living expenses, as I will not be working while studying for the bar over the course of the summer. Advocating for greater education and understanding of legal rights is an important cause to me after working at Adobe Mountain School. While the youth there had intensive contact with the criminal justice system, they still lacked basic understanding of their own legal rights. I helped to teach the youth there about their legal rights and the importance of their own education. This scholarship will guide me as I continue to be an advocate for youth in the criminal justice system.
2021 Winner: Corrina Kwok
Biography: My interest in law has been shaped in large part by prior work experiences. Through my time at Bay Area Justice Corps and the Bar Association of San Francisco, I have seen firsthand how socioeconomic factors can hinder a person’s ability to learn about their rights or obtain legal help. Whether it is the lack of standards governing the provision of language access or the expensive administrative fees charged to parties of a case or the inefficiency of existing legal aid in the U.S. which mostly rely on a “spray and pray” approach and neglect to assess the true impact of their efforts, there are weaknesses in the current justice system that can and should be improved upon. These experiences have solidified my desire to study issues of accessibility and foster the skills to effectively advocate for those most affected by inequity.
Reaction Letter: I am extremely honored to have been selected for the Know Your Rights scholarship. This past year of living through a global pandemic has altered our world greatly, leaving a devastating effect on human life. But what I found most significant is how inequitable the impact has been. COVID-19 has exacerbated America’s pre-existing disparities as people of color and the underserved indigent population continue to be hit hardest. Quality civics education and effective advocacy work remain key to creating a more equitable society. Thanks to The Nieves Law Firm, I can worry less about the cost of law school and devote more of my attention to studying this justice gap, helping make positive changes for those who have been historically wronged and continue to face systemic injustices today.
2020 Winner: Nia Waller
Biography: My name is Nia Waller. I was born and raised in Ellenwood, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. I am currently a graduating senior at the University of Georgia, where I double major in Political Science and Sociology. On campus, I have the pleasure to serve as an Advisor/Advocate in our University Judiciary, an Associate Justice for our Student Government Association’s Supreme Court, and as a Resident Assistant to a diverse population of 63 on-campus students. Upon graduation, I will attend the University of Georgia School of Law. While I aspire to become a civil rights attorney and work on a variety of issues, I am extremely passionate about the criminal justice system and hope to create structural criminal justice reform.
Reaction Letter: The Neves Law Firm scholarship has truly been an amazing help towards my goals! While being accepted into law school is a great honor, this accomplishment has been overshadowed by the hefty cost of law school tuition. Although I have paid my own room, board, and tuition each year I have been at University of Georgia as an undergraduate student, I am not allowed to work as an first year law student. The Neves Law Firm scholarship has now helped to lift a great burden by helping to relieving some of the cost of my tuition, due to their firm’s generosity. I am so grateful for this scholarship, as well as the amazing work that this law firm does as advocates in the criminal justice system. As an aspiring attorney, I hope to one day carry on this amazing tradition!
2019 Winner: Liam Elkind
Biography: I am a sophomore at Yale University, majoring in Ethics, Politics, and Economics. I was born and raised in New York City, and I became involved in politics after the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, and have found law and politics to be increasingly fascinating and essential to the development of a better world. When I’m not engaging in political or civics-related events, you can find me rehearsing for undergraduate productions on campus (on good days), or oversleeping until four in the afternoon (most days).
Reaction to Winning the Scholarship: I am incredibly honored to be the recipient of the Know Your Rights scholarship. During my short time in college, I have learned that civics and rights education is critical to the development of a safer, more tolerant, and more open society. There is no better way to advocate and increase awareness of individual rights against self-incrimination than to dig your hands in and get involved. This past year I have spent my time working with immigrant families in New Haven, advocating on behalf of their rights and organizing classes to ensure that they know what those rights are. Whether the fight is for advancing immigrant rights or for reform to our criminal justice system, the most effective strategies are those that bring people together in pursuit of a common goal. While I am of course thrilled to receive this scholarship, I simultaneously understand the incredible responsibility that it entails, and will strive to put the scholarship to good use continuing the fight for rights education.