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Ariana Afshari


2022 "Pass the Torch" Scholarship Recipient

“When everything around you is pushing you to fall, you can rise.”

Growing up in a home riven by abuse and addiction, Ariana Afshari longed for a place where she could feel secure and cared for. For her, that was school. English teacher Mrs. Johnson not only supported Ariana academically, but emotionally, inviting her over for meals and fostering an enduring friendship with her. Today, as a high school biology teacher, Ariana aims to likewise keep love at the forefront of her teaching, drawing on her experiences of adversity to guide and advocate for students like herself.

Here is Ariana's story about Mrs. Johnson, the teacher who inspired her.



Want to hear the stories of the other nine finalists? Visit our 2022 Scholarship Finalists page.

Thinking of applying to this year's program? Learn more on our Teachers Test Prep "Pass the Torch" Teacher Scholarships page.


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