Nadezhda Nikonova

2005 The Howard J. and Mitzi W. Green Scholarship Recipient

Biography: Nadezhda (Nady) Nikonova was born on a cold winter’s night in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, just two hours before the New Year. She was one of the only Jews attending a predominantly Russian school in a predominantly Muslim country. With the fall of the Soviet Union came instability, so Nady and her family fled to the United States as refugees in early 1992. Two three-day train trips, three flights, a cracked sternum, a concussion and one scary hospital stay later, Nady somehow finished the second grade in a Los Angeles elementary school, knowing no English and missing three months of instruction. Nady’s English quickly outgrew the ESL (English as a Second Language) program and even spilled over into the honors classes by the end of elementary school. She was accepted into the magnet program and attended Paul Revere Middle School. Afterwards, she attended Palisades Charter High School, where she excelled in academics and took almost every AP course offered. She passed UCLA on the bus going to and from school every year since middle school, and was ecstatic to finally attend the university of her dreams. Currently, Nady is a Business Economics and Psychology double major, and makes a living as an English composition tutor at UCLA Covel Tutorials. She will be graduating with College Honors this June.

Future Plans: Nady’s quasi-nerdy interest in economics is only surpassed by her obtrusive fascination with antitrust cases and business law. This is why she is eager to bolt over to Law School as soon as possible to pursue a J.D. degree with a specialization in economics. She is uncertain of her eventual career path, but sees herself utilizing her knowledge of law and economics in and out of the legal field. Since it is too early in the year to know which Law Schools have accepted her, the possibility of taking one or two years to work in finance or marketing is still very real.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: This scholarship provides both financial and moral support. I cannot overstate the importance of the financial help. The scholarship enables me to be more independent and devote more of my time from work to my studies, reinforcing higher education as an attainable priority (a value that is very important to me). Moreover, to receive such a prestigious award after competing with some of UCLA’s best and brightest students boosts my confidence in my abilities. Receiving the scholarship means being awarded for doing something I love to do (learn) and being recognized for doing it well. This means a lot to me as a student and as an individual, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank Hoard and Mitzi Green for their generous contribution and the Economics Department.