Samantha Barrera

Samantha Barrera (’25) received the David A. Paige Foundation scholarship for the 2023 fall semester. The Foundation recognized her academic excellence, commitment to her family and community, and her selfless nature. Samantha excelled academically in her first year of law school. As a mother of two young children, Samantha researched and presented a LOCK school-safety action plan to the Marana Unified School District (MUSD) Governing Board. Many of the safety measures she advocated for were implemented district-wide and Samantha was invited to become a board member of the MUSD Security Committee. Samantha is also resolute in her conviction to pursue a career in prosecution whilst providing pro bono family law services to domestic violence survivors.

Specifically, Samantha’s “purpose of serving my community, securing justice, and helping as many people as I possibly can during my lifetime” directly aligns with the mission of the David A. Paige Foundation.

“Being recognized by the David A. Paige Foundation is an absolute honor for which I am extremely grateful.

“Pursuing my Juris Doctorate has felt like a second chance at life. Having turned my back on higher education a decade ago, fallen into the throws of domestic violence, and put an ocean between myself and my home country, I had unknowingly distanced myself from my potential, self-worth, and dreams. But three years ago, I realized that I could not hope for my children what I was not willing to do myself. Today, I am a proud second-year law student at James E. Rogers College of Law with a head full of curiosity, a heart full of appreciation, and a pocket full of dreams.

“My personal experiences with the legal system have helped me to recognize the true omnipresence of the law. It is through these experiences that I have fostered a deep sense of commitment to both upholding justice and improving access to legal resources. For if it wasn’t for the lawyers who fought on my behalf when I had no means to fight for myself, I would not be in my privileged position today as a student at James E. Rogers College of Law.

“And what a privilege it is. Every day, I am afforded opportunities for growth, such as challenging my inherent biases, questioning the world around me, and learning a doctrine or two. (Or three, or four!) The law and its human impact give me a sense of purpose that had escaped me all these years. It is through this purpose that I have fostered an unwavering commitment to serving my community through a career in prosecution and providing pro bono family law services.

“The funds awarded to me by the David A. Paige Foundation will finance essential childcare that facilitates my class attendance. I cannot emphasize enough how impactful such financial support is. But beyond the scholarship funds, it is making a connection with the David A. Paige Foundation—a foundation that shares my values of goodness and altruism—that holds such immeasurable value. I am incredibly fortunate to have connected with such a selfless foundation, and I look forward to cultivating our shared objectives in giving back to the Tucson community and fostering justice in the legal system.

“David A. Paige served his community at every opportunity, and I am devoted to continuing his legacy.”

Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson (’23) received the David A. Paige Foundation scholarship for the 2023 spring semester. The Foundation recognized his academic accomplishments, persistence as a first-generation law student, and his commitment to volunteering.

Specifically, the DAP Foundation supports Nick’s desire to help children, parents, and families in the Arizona community resolve their issues. With his law degree, Nick vows to help individuals in the Southern Arizona community by giving them strong and competent legal support.

One of Nick’s law school professors said that “Nick has demonstrated uncommon skill at analyzing law in great flux. This will serve him well going forward as a lawyer – indeed, as a citizen… My conversations with Nick outside of class make clear he is a decent person with an exceptional work ethic. He attends closely to family and professional obligations, is committed to his academic goals, and is a team player.”

“I am appreciative, humbled, honored, and energized by the David A. Paige Foundation’s selection of me as its 2023 Scholarship recipient. In honoring David A. Paige’s legacy, I am hopeful that he would have wholeheartedly agreed with their selection. As with the recognition of my hard work, I truly value the financial aspect of this scholarship to reduce my loan burden.

“At the James E. Rogers College of Law, I interact daily with a multitude of amazingly bright, curious, and hardworking students. I am honored that the Foundation’s Scholarship Selection Committee members recognized something in me, in my studies, and in my community efforts that may have, in some small way, reminded them of David’s lifelong commitments to the legal profession, and to those amongst us who are less fortunate.

“Lastly, this scholarship award energizes me to be a better student, a better community member, a better friend, a better partner, and a better family member. After a difficult, and emotionally taxing first year of law school at the University of Oregon, I transferred to the University of Arizona as a 2L. In the time since, I have earned/received several scholarships and honors which have continued to push me to greater personal, academic, and professional heights/achievements. I value and admire the David A. Paige Foundation’s efforts on many fronts, and I hope, after a long, rewarding legal career, I will be remembered and honored as fondly and widely as David A. Paige.”

Jake Collier

“I am extremely grateful to the David A. Paige Foundation for choosing me to receive this scholarship. I strongly identify with Mr. Paige’s passion for justice, travel, and giving back to both his community and the world, and it is an honor to be one small part of his legacy. Not only does this scholarship ease the financial burden of law school, but it also allows me to focus on my studies and on pursuing a meaningful legal career.”

Jake Collier (’24) received the David A. Paige Foundation scholarship for the 2022 fall semester. The Foundation recognized his commitment to academic excellence, passion for public interest environmental law, and enthusiasm for mentorship. Jake’s work with the Environmental Law Society, the Native American Law Students Association, and as a Writing Fellow and Ares Fellow have all allowed him to “give back to the law school community.”


As Vice President of the Environmental Law Society, Jake has organized events with the Tucson Audubon Society and looks forward to engaging the law school community in a variety of environmentally conscious events. As an ally member of the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), Jake is committed to building partnerships with NALSA’s board members to ensure that the Environmental Law Society is centering Indigenous voices and perspectives. Jake also understands the importance of giving back to his fellow law students and has taken on Fellowship roles for Civil Procedure and Legal Writing to mentor first-year law students.

“I could not be happier with my decision to attend Arizona Law. I love the small size of the law school and the tight-knit, supportive community that we have here. The incredible faculty, staff, administrators, and students made my first year here exceedingly rewarding, as they pushed me to become a kinder, more thoughtful, and more well-rounded person. As a second-year student, I have enjoyed taking advantage of the many opportunities that Arizona Law provides, such as Arizona Law Review, the Natural Resource Use & Management Clinic, and a judicial externship at the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

“I am excited to see where the rest of my time at Arizona Law will lead me, from the many classes I hope to take, to the continued clinical and experiential opportunities. After law school, I hope to clerk for a judge before entering the field of environmental law. I am primarily interested in nonprofit environmental litigation, Indigenous people’s law, and climate change law and policy. My goal is to use the power of the law to achieve justice for the natural world and the life that inhabits it. I also hope to establish a pro bono practice in criminal defense, with a focus on representing environmental activists and protestors.”

The David A. Paige Foundation will continue to provide scholarships to University of Arizona law students who excel in their studies and believe in using their law degrees to better their community.

Shelby Aguallo

Shelby Aguallo (’22) received the David A. Paige Foundation scholarship for the 2022 spring semester. The Foundation recognized her commitment to academics, community involvement and passion for mentoring. Shelby’s work in the Student Bar Association Mentorship Program, role as treasurer of the Latino Law Student Association, and participation on the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law and the Udall Inn of Court have allowed her to connect with students and attorneys in many different capacities.

In Shelby’s first year as treasurer of the Latino Law Student Association she helped organize an event for Tucson High students. Students interested in a career in law to come to the law school to hear guest speakers and take a tour of the law school. During the tour, Shelby connected with students by speaking about her own experiences and what it was like being in law school at twenty years old. Her mentee eventually made journal, was selected to be a writing fellow, and got a great summer position.

“Thank you for selecting me as a recipient of the David A. Paige 2021-2022 Scholarship. I am very appreciative to be recognized for my hard work and dedication throughout law school. Receiving this scholarship is very beneficial and helpful to me because it will allow me to focus on enjoying my last semester of law school.

“Attending law school at the University of Arizona has also allowed me to discover my love for mentorship. Being able to provide insight and advice to students while they are trying to reach their goals has been extremely rewarding for me. Working with other students and helping them through mentorship has brought me much joy, as it did to Mr. Paige.

“Once I began attending law school at the University of Arizona, I found a passion for criminal law. I will be clerking for one year after I graduate law school, but eventually plan to become a prosecutor in Tucson, Arizona. I grew up in a small mining town in southeast Arizona and living and working in Tucson will allow me to do something I love in a place I enjoy. Being a prosecutor, and even working in juvenile court, will allow me to continue to help individuals lead better lives.”

Rachel Romaniuk

“I am honored to be the Inaugural David A. Paige Foundation Scholar for the 2021-22 school year. I am confident that my dedication to my studies and to the rule of law will honor David Paige’s legacy. I went to law school because I saw injustice within my middle school at a young age, and I knew I had to do something about it. I truly believe, as did Mr. Paige, that the law can and should be a tool for achieving fairness and justice. I plan to use my law degree to help bridge some of the gaps in our justice system and improve the public’s confidence in the nobility of our profession.

“The University of Arizona law school community has helped me develop a sense of purpose and value in my work. I have involved myself in many clubs, fellowships, and research assistantships to connect with those who are on the same path. I have been a board member of the Justice Advocates Coalition, an organization dedicated to social justice lawyering. I am an Articles Editor on the Arizona Law Review because I appreciate having a hand in burgeoning legal scholarship. I was also recently elected as the Student Bar Association’s 2021-2022 President after serving as both a 1L delegate and the Secretary. 

“Most importantly, I am excited for the new community that I enter into as an Inaugural David A. Paige Scholar. I hope I can inspire others to follow in Mr. Paige’s footsteps and know that they will be supported by amazing organizations like this one. They are big shoes to fill, but I hope with the guidance and mentorship of the Board I can get closer to filling them. Thank you so much for the opportunity to explore public interest work with an increased sense of freedom and support.”

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