Incoming and current college students often find themselves faced with several hard-to-answer questions about their identity and place in the world. It’s a particularly remarkable student who can look outside of those questions about themselves and center themselves within an in-need community.
New Frontier Immigration Law continually wants to recognize young people’s efforts to connect with and improve upon those communities. This year, the firm recognizes scholarship recipient Clayton Rainey of South Texas College of Law for his efforts to transform his personal experience with the law into actionable good works.
Clayton Rainey will receive $2,500 in financial support to complete his law school education.
Compassion Born Out of Personal Struggles
It’s never easy to go into detail about the trauma that shapes your life. Even so, Rainey’s essay poignantly introduces readers to one of the most pivotal moments of his childhood: the day his mother went to prison. “When the U.S. Secret Service followed us home from Burger King in 2005,” he says, “I knew something was not right.”
Rainey doesn’t dwell on his mother’s story, though. Instead, he focuses on his grandmother and the community that came together to give him a fresh start in life. He speaks of his grandmother’s life thesis: that “service and kindness to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”
Rainey goes on to discuss how his encounter with the U.S. Secret Service, the criminal justice system, and a caring community shaped his interests as a young person. He spent his high school years volunteering.
He primarily served as a teen attorney in youth court, where he worked with teenagers addressing minor legal infractions. Those efforts bore fruit, eventually winning him the Teen Court Values Award for over 150 hours of service. Moreover, that time in court paved the way for Rainey’s compassionate future.
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Standing Out at the University of Texas at San Antonio
Rainey completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at San Antonio. In addition to his course load, he served as Student Government Downtown Affairs Director for the College of Public Policy. This position saw him continually address the state-side and federal concerns of student-parents.
“My being called upon by these student-parents was the best memory I had while making a difference in the community,” he says. “This initiative was near and dear to my heart because nearly a decade before, my grandma, unable to afford childcare during my winter, spring, and summer break, took me to the law firm where she worked as a paralegal.”
“During this time,” he continues, “I discovered my passion to become an attorney.”
Lil’ Roadrunners Enrichment Program
This isn’t to say that Rainey’s path to community service was easy. He reports that many of his efforts to advocate for student-parent funding went ignored by the University of Texas at San Antonio. However, that rejection led him to partner with a nearby church in an effort to kickstart the Lil’ Roadrunners Enrichment Program.
This program offered educational, health-oriented childcare services to the university’s student-parents. In his time with the program, Rainey saw it serve over 40 children.
Inspiration From Near and Far
Rainey reports taking an exceptional amount of personal inspiration from athlete Simone Biles. He draws on their similarities, including being raised by their grandmothers and battling with ADHD. At the same time, he also claims that he has “a significant amount of catching up to do” if he wants to go toe-to-toe with the world’s greatest gymnast.
It’s clear from his essay, however, that Rainey takes no small amount of personal inspiration from his grandmother. His essay is a testament to her dedication and community service. He continually praises the steps she took to ensure that he had every opportunity to pursue his goals in a safe and healthy environment.
With two inspirations like these, it’s no wonder that Rainey’s had such a notable impact on the young San Antonio legal community.
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Rainey Intends to Take the Future By Storm
Rainey’s goals extend far beyond his undergraduate career. After completing his degree, he applied to and was accepted by the South Texas College of Law. His future plans see him specializing in workplace injury, product liability, and wrongful death representation. Upon his graduation, he intends to take – and pass – the Texas bar exam.
Rainey hopes to translate his legal expertise into the passionate representation of Texans in need of civil support.
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Learn More About the “How I Make My Community Great” Scholarship Today
New Frontier Immigration Law wants today’s generation of college students to think critically about the ways they’ve connected with and influenced in-need communities. Future “How I Make My Community Great” scholarship applicants should specifically compose 500- to 1,000-word essays discussing:
- How they’ve helped a community evolve in a positive way
- How that evolution moves the community toward continued positive growth
- How the student themselves defines “community”
- What initiatives the student has in mind for continuing to promote change throughout an in-need community
Students must send completed essays, academic transcripts, and proof of admissions or college enrollment to New Frontier Immigration Law to qualify for this scholarship. The firm specifically notes that it accepts scholarship applications from both undocumented and documented students.
New Frontier Immigration Law’s scholarship selection committee will only consider complete applications submitted before the scholarship’s closing date. The firm cannot answer emails, phone calls, or other forms of communication about the scholarship at this time.
Next year’s batch of applicants should keep an eye on New Frontier Immigration Law’s website for deadline and eligibility updates. Students can refer to the scholarship’s terms and conditions page for more information about the firm’s expectations.
New Frontier Immigration Law Wants Students to Succeed
It takes an admirable amount of effort to transform a personal tragedy into community service. New Frontier Immigration Law wants to recognize those young people who have made a continual effort to connect with and improve their communities. This year, Clayton Rainey’s efforts to mobilize youth legal efforts struck a particular chord with our team.
We applaud Rainey’s work with the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Lil’ Roadrunners Enrichment Program. It’s clear from every effort he’s exerted so far that he has more than, in his words, “paid rent for his room here on Earth.” The team looks forward to dedicating its $2,500 in scholarship funds to Rainey’s continued education.
Current and incoming college students who want to apply for the “How I Make My Community Great” Scholarship can begin gathering their application materials for the 2024/2025 academic year. New Frontier Immigration Law looks forward to reading through next year’s scholarship applications soon.