Sanaa Lucas is a senior at Clemson University where she is double majoring in Political Science and Music. When she graduates from Clemson, she is interested in working in the government and may even run for public office.
Sanaa was only two years old when her mom was injured, so she has grown up with a disabled mom for the majority of her life. She is an auxiliary member of and regular volunteer with the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Military Order of the Purple Heart, and regularly participates in their Veteran’s Day programs. She had the opportunity to serve as President Pro Tempore of the Senate of the Tarheel American Legion Auxiliary Girls State, and received an additional certificate of appreciation. She also served in the VFW Auxiliary where she received the Voice of Democracy Certificate of Merit for being an Outstanding Spokesperson for Freedom.
Sanaa has also served as a North Carolina Governor’s Page for Governor Roy Cooper and received a Certificate of Appreciation for her service to the State of North Carolina, presented by the Governor. She served as a Page for the North Carolina State House of Representatives in 2017 and was appointed a Senate Page in the North Carolina General Assembly in 2016. In addition, she has also volunteered over 140 hours at the Salisbury and Kernersville VA Health Care Center. In 2018 she was the winner of the Psi Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Talent Hunt, where she played the viola.
More recently, Sanaa has had the privilege of working on Capitol Hill serving as a Legislative Intern in both the United States Senate as well as the U.S. House of Representatives. “As a woman and as a person of color, promoting the importance of protecting our civil rights and civil liberties are of the utmost importance to me.”
An avid violist, Sanaa considers herself very fortunate to have been able to attend the University of North Carolina School of the Arts High School to focus on music during her high school years. The school is a top conservatory for dance, music, visual arts and filmmaking.
She is a former member of the prestigious Clemson University Quartet, which represents the university at both on and off campus events.
Sanaa’s mother, Army SPC Latoya Lucas (retired) was serving with the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul Iraq when she was severely wounded during an enemy ambush. She explains that it was a very difficult time in that region, with the combination of attacks from Iraqi resistance forces as well as Al-Qaeda forces.
On July 21, 2003, her vehicle was hit by a rocket propelled grenade and small arms fire. She sustained life-threatening wounds and had to be airlifted first to Landstuhl, Germany and then later to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. She suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), paralysis of various body parts, a broken pelvis, burns, nerve damage, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Latoya was awarded the Purple Heart Medal and Combat Action Badge. Despite almost dying during her service, she feels very fortunate to have survived the violent ambush and she says, “I would do it all over again without hesitation.”
“The NGS scholarship is more than just a scholarship to me. The program itself keeps patriotism alive and that’s very important to me considering how much my mother has sacrificed through mind, body and spirit. I want to thank all of the donors who made my scholarship possible!”
NGS would like to thank The Palmetto Classic and BMW Government Affairs for their support in making Sanaa’s dreams come true.