Alazay Sanders is a 2022 graduate of North Medford High School in Southern Oregon, and the 2022 recipient of the Bob and Marilyn Ridgley Scholarship. She began participating in Mock Trial as a freshman at a very pivotal moment in her life, and as she says, “Everything changed from there.” Alazay will be attending the University of Portland this fall, and plans to major in Criminology and minor in Communications.
Read more about Alazay’s journey:
“I have always been interested in the legal world and the law, and my participation in Mock Trial has had a huge impact on me and my future. Growing up as a mixed African American and white student, I have witnessed racial discrimination all around me, and I have known for a long time that I wanted to work to make the justice system fair for all people. I joined the North Medford High School Mock Trial team my freshman year, and things in my life started to click. I fell in love with the excitement of the courtroom in my first trial, and won an MVP award for my performance. From there, my skills and comfort level grew.
My older sister Nyjeda passed away in a car accident after my freshman year. It was so hard to keep moving forward, but I remembered talking with her the year before and telling her that I wanted to do something big to make change in this world – to be the change! And she told me, “You’ve got this whole life ahead of you, and I know you are going to be something big. Just make sure what you’re doing makes you happy, and makes you feel good.” This has been my motivation ever since. I know my voice, and I will use it to help those who need support within the legal system. I’m a first generation college student, and the first person in my family to graduate high school — showing my younger siblings that anything is possible, and you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. All of these things make me happy and make me feel good, and honor Nyjeda’s memory.”
Learn more about Alazay in this news item from Medford’s KOBI-5.