Young Women of Excellence is an initiative by Young Woman's Guide that spotlights exceptional young women. We celebrate high achieving student leaders who have excelled academically all while being positive leaders in their communities or schools.

Would you like to nominate yourself or a young women who is exceptional in their school and or community? If so, please submit their information by clicking here. 

Jaimie Marie Stewart

At 27 years old, Jaimie Marie Stewart is a Chicago native and a fourth year PhD candidate and GEM Fellow in Bioengineering at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Bioengineering with a concentration in cell and tissue engineering and a minor in Italian from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and her Master of Science in Bioengineering from UCR. During her time at UIC she participated in leadership positions for the National Society of Black Engineers UIC chapter. She worked on research projects pertaining to computational modeling and simulation of drug delivery, medical device design, and tissue regeneration.  Jaimie is also the founder of a start-up company where she and her co-founders are creating an early detection test for breast cancer.    She has won various awards for both her research work and start-up venture as well as presented her work at conferences throughout the country and internationally from San Jose, California to Hartford, Connecticut to Munich, Germany.

Sara Cross

Sara is a staunch social justice advocate, researcher, and writer with a passion for international human rights. In 2011 she took a gap year, volunteering in Tanzania and Peru. During her time abroad, she worked with local primary schools and community members to generate more opportunities for students and communities.  Sara has continued to champion for the international community and social change as a contributing author at Shatter the Looking Glass Magazine, and GivingWay.  As an undergraduate at Rutgers University, from which she graduated with a B.A. in Political Science, Sara completed an independent research project highlighting the violent political crisis plaguing Burundi. 

Shania Oliver

Shania Oliver received her Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Technology and a dual minor in legal studies and political science in May 2017. She interned at America 2026, a grassroots organization in Washington, D.C. During her academic studies, she was the President of Chi Epsilon Honor Society, President of The Quality Club, Student Ambassador of Educational Opportunity Fund and the secretary of Black Student Union. After her graduation she attended the New Leadership New York (NLNY) Week long Summer Institute at SUNY Albany's Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy. Shania will begin her Masters in Public Administration at John Jay College this Fall. Shania is also working on her first book and look forward to a future in politics. 

Alyea Pierce

Alyea Pierce, is an author, poet, oratorical coach, and playwright. Pierce's work has been featured on the grand stages of the Apollo Theater and Broadway's New Amsterdam Theater, as well as, TEDx Rutgers and TEDx New York Institute of Technology, and various colleges and universities across the country. Pierce lives her life as a testimony, educating youths in numerous organizations, including the New Jersey Orators, NAACP ACT-SO Program & National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc. Xinos & Kudos on how to transform their creative ideas into professional voices. 

Francesca Pica

Francesca Pica, is an undergraduate at CUNY Baruch College pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in Finance and minoring in Business Law. At 22 years of age, she is an Overseas Co-Manager for Pica Moto Group, Financial Analyst for Baruch Investment Management Group, and Founder and Vice-President of the Italian Culture Club at Baruch College. Additionally, Francesca works as a tutor, along with high-achieving students at the Baruch Student Academic Consulting Center, and currently interns as an Assistant to the Director at Vignaioli America.