Deja Chappell

Hometown: Montgomery, AL

high school: Loveless Academic Magnet Program HS

college: Yale University

MAJOR: Sociology / Women's Studies / Foreign Affairs

Deja Chappell was born on Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, where she has lived a majority of her life and formative years thus far. From what was the critical situation of teenage motherhood emerged a village that raised her in her early years: her mother, grandparents, aunts, and family friends all contributed to her upbringing. She entered the academic magnet program of Montgomery Public Schools in fifth grade and is now senior at Loveless Academic Magnet Program (LAMP) High School.

At LAMP, Deja has excelled in academics and service. She has served in almost every capacity, whether sorting over 15,000 photos on yearbook staff, performing comedic skits for student council activities, or commanding defense as goalkeeper for LAMP girls varsity soccer.

Competing for her school’s Model UN conferences and travel team for three years, this season she chaired the Special Political and Decolonization Committee for Montgomery's only Model UN conference, coordinated entirely by LAMP High School students. Her global aspirations culminated when she received a U.S. State Department scholarship to study Arabic language in Rabat, Morocco this past summer through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth. After only six weeks of immersive Arabic study, Deja attained an Intermediate Arabic Oral Proficiency through the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages OPI Test. In pursuing her interest in global and middle eastern affairs, she received an Honorable Mention in the American Foreign Service Essay contest for her thesis on U.S. relations with Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and analysis of American foreign policy toward environmental and political pressures in the Middle East

Deja’s academic and personal interests center on women’s issues, sustainable development and civil rights around her state, country, and world. She is self-proclaimed activist for all of them, since as a woman, African-American, and human being, the issues in these areas affect her entire person and drive her to succeed in order to increase representation and inspire more successful narratives from others in her situation. In her free time, you can find her attempting to make short films, trying to maintain her Arabic, and counseling underclassmen to help them achieve their goals.

Because of her leadership throughout high school, Deja has attended Alabama HOBY and Girls State, and in March 2016, was one of two Alabama delegates at the United States Senate Youth Program, through which she met President Barack Obama and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She has been honored with various service awards, is a National Merit Finalist, and is in the running to become a United States Department of Education Presidential Scholar, the highest academic honor awarded to American high school students.

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