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Meet McDaniel's newest Dorsey Scholars

Three incoming Class of 2026 students are the college’s newest Dorsey Scholars. The Dorsey Scholars Program is the highest academic honor at McDaniel and includes full tuition, room, and board for all four years.

Dorsey Class of 2026

McDaniel College announces three incoming Class of 2026 students as the college’s newest Dorsey Scholars.

The highest academic honor at McDaniel, students selected for the Dorsey Scholars Program receive full tuition, room, and board for all four years at the college. Students are chosen from the Honors applicant pool.

Dorsey Scholars are academic leaders and role models on campus. They also have distinctive opportunities, including serving as ambassadors of the college.

The Dorsey Scholars Program is supported by a $6.7 million estate gift from 1891 alumnus Philip Henry Dorsey, the largest bequest for scholarships in McDaniel’s history.

Learn more about our newest Dorsey Scholars

Kaylah Rashid

Kaylah Rashid

Kaylah Rashid, who is graduating from Glen Burnie High School in Glen Burnie, Maryland, is part of the BioMedical Allied Health Magnet program at her school. Rashid wants to design her own major at McDaniel to combine both pre-med and pre-law tracks with the goal to become a physician assistant before moving on to work on hospital policy at the state or federal level, a career path, she says, is inspired by her mother. Rashid is also currently enrolled at Anne Arundel Community College to earn an entrepreneurship certificate. 

A delegate for the Congress of Future Medical Leaders, she had the opportunity to participate in summer research at Duke University and a virtual internship in neurosurgery with New York’s Lenox Hill Hospital. During Summer 2021, she interned at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center and as a research assistant at Keystone Research Solutions in Odenton, Maryland. 

She is on the superintendent’s advisory board and the principal/student advisory board, as well as a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and part of a peer mentorship program at her high school. 

Rashid is also a certified member of the community emergency response team for the Annapolis, Maryland, area, and has volunteered with the Baltimore VA Medical Center, Abundant Life Church in Glen Burnie, and as a member of the Anne Arundel County chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. She is also partnering with Happy Helpers for the Homeless to start her own nonprofit for the underprivileged to serve Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City.

Nicki James

Nicki James

Nicki James of Westminster, Maryland, serves as the class president at Westminster High School, yearbook copy editor, and is founder of the Environmental Action Club, as well as environmental mentor and counselor at Outdoor School.

She is executive board member of the International Thespian Society, Stand Up, a student club to spread unity and kindness, and Sources of Strength, a universal suicide prevention program. She is also vice president of Rho Kappa, national social studies honor society, and treasurer of the National Honor Society and the National English Honor Society, in addition to being a member of the math and science honor societies.

She is a student marshal and peer facilitator in her school’s guidance office and has also interned with Together We Own It, a nonprofit in Westminster whose mission is to work with children and families to break the cycle of poverty, trauma, and mental illness. She plans to major in Social Work at McDaniel.

Sana Askari

Sana Askari

Sana Askari is an Afghan refugee who came to Pakistan with her family when she was a young child. The oldest of six siblings, she began working as a carpet weaver at the age of six to not only help support her family, but to also fund her and her siblings’ education. When she was 11, she became an entrepreneur and started her own carpet weaving business. In addition to helping her family, that business has also provided funding for more than 20 other refugee girls to continue their schooling.

When she was in her teens, she started a new initiative, stitching and sewing clothes, which later inspired the Esheel Stitching Circle. Through this venture, she employs primarily home-restricted and vulnerable women who she trains to hand-embroider and then sells their work. Many of these women are also in need of supplemental income to continue to send their children to school both in Afghanistan and in refugee-settling areas in Pakistan. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this funding stream also became a vital means of survival for many of these families.

At McDaniel, she plans to combine her passions for economics and education policy, so she can continue to amplify the voices and share the stories of other Afghan refugee women and girls. She has been chosen to represent Afghanistan at the Fora: Network for Change Global Summit in Toronto, Canada, in the fall of 2022. Sana is also involved with UNESCO.