Making a Difference

Her background sparked a passion for justice.
A scholarship empowered her to bring those career goals to life.

Breaking the cycle

Raised in Camden, New Jersey, Maya Pryor has seen the lives of those around her touched by both sides of the criminal justice system.

She has witnessed violence and drug use, a lack of educational opportunities, and the depravity of the educational institutions available — this is where her fascination of why things are the way they are, of wanting to learn and dissect the inner workings of the world around her, was born.

Maya’s interest in juvenile and restorative justice, in particular, stems from the importance she places on changing and reforming the system. “It’s about helping these people before the crimes are committed, before they get stuck in a cycle of violence, crime, and incarcerations,” she says.

Colonel Sharpe — for whom the Colonel Ronald M. Sharpe Memorial Scholarship is named—served with the Pennsylvania State Police for over three decades, and was the first African American commissioner of a statewide police force; the scholarship is presented annually to a minority student majoring in criminal justice. Maya, like Colonel Sharpe did, strives towards disassembling biases to create a better world, one filled with more opportunities for all.

Maya Pryor ’19

Inaugural recipient of the Colonel Ronald M. Sharpe Memorial Scholarship

“We are the future. We need to step up and be the role models for others.” - Maya Pryor

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“We are the future. We need to step up and be the role models for others.”