Meet Our 2016 Scholarship Selection Committee

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We are excited to introduce you to the individuals who will be selecting our 2016 scholarship winners. All three are homeschool alumni; one is returning from last year’s committee, and two are brand new to the committee this year.

Don’t forget that the deadline for this year’s scholarship applications is coming up on February 29. If you would like to apply for one or both scholarships, you can find all the information here.

Jessica Heebner

Jessica HeebnerJessica Heebner grew up in Alabama where she was homeschooled through 12th grade.

She graduated from the University of Alabama in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. Currently, Jessica works as a veterinary oncology nurse at one of the largest specialty practices in the North East. Through her work as an oncology nurse, Jessica has discovered a passion for cancer research and in 2017 will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Biochemistry with a focus on cancer biology research.

In her free time, Jessica enjoys playing video games with her husband, hiking and volunteering at a wildlife rescue organization.



Lana Martin

Lana MartinLana Martin grew up in Texas, where she was homeschooled 5th through 12th grade.

She recently received her PhD from UCLA after finishing a dissertation on the archaeology of ancient farming, foraging, and hunting practices in Caribbean Panama. She also has an MA in Anthropology from UCLA, for which her master’s thesis was Reconstructing Paleoenvironmental Instability and Plant Resource Availability on Santa Cruz Island using Macrobotanical Analysis. Lana’s field experience includes archaeological excavation, survey, and mapping in Texas, New Mexico, California, and Panamá.

When she isn’t teaching or writing, Lana enjoys cruising the streets of Los Angeles by bike, hiking the mountains of Southern California, playing with her cat, and cooking dishes with maximum garlic content.

Josh Powell

Josh PowellJosh Powell grew up in rural Virginia, where he was homeschooled under the state’s religious exemption statute with his eleven younger siblings. He identifies as queer and has been out to his family friends since the age of sixteen, and has been involved with homeschool advocacy work to varying extents since a Washington Post article was published about his family’s home school experiences in 2013.

After graduating Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, he taught middle school English in Denver, CO as a part of Teach for America. He is currently working in Nanjing, China as a college counselor to Chinese high school students who desire to attend university in the United States.

When not reading and commenting on application essays, he enjoys traveling and trying foods with names he cannot pronounce.