ATLANTA – Alexandra “Alex” Patafio (J.D. ’23) was passionate in her studies and selfless in service. She helped classmates secure scholarships for professional conferences and volunteered tirelessly with Georgia State University College of Law’s pro bono efforts and Health Law Partnership Clinic. She advocated for those facing eviction and wrongful conviction and fought for the rights of women, minorities, the LGBTQIA+ community and other underserved groups.
“Alex was a shining light, a friend to everyone she met and was passionate and courageous in fighting for the rights of others,” said Kierra Powell (J.D. ’23), president of the Georgia State College of Law Student Bar Association and Patafio’s classmate. “She represents the best of us.”
In October 2022, Patafio was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. The College of Law Class of 2023 chose to honor her memory by dedicating its class gift to establish the Alex Patafio Public Interest Law Scholarship.
At the College of Law’s May 12 Commencement & Hooding Ceremony, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Courtney Anderson announced that the scholarship was fully endowed and will be awarded annually to select College of Law students interested in pursuing careers in public interest law, just like Patafio. Her parents, Chris and Michele Patafio, were in attendance at the ceremony and accepted on her behalf a posthumous Juris Doctor degree conferred by the college.
“Alex – with her fearless fortitude – leaves an indelible impression on the College of Law, where she quickly emerged as a true leader and confidant,” said Anderson. “Alex was once quoted in an article saying, ‘it is so important to exercise your privilege in a way that is benefitting to the community,’ and the College of Law Class of 2023 truly embraced this directive in establishing the Alex Patafio Public Interest Law Scholarship.”
Since its February 15, 2023 launch, the Class of 2023 class gift has raised more than $50,000 and is the largest class gift by a Georgia State College of Law cohort.
More than 220 individuals have donated to the cause, including Patafio’s parents and sister Michaela Patafio. Additionally, 130 of Patafio’s classmates in the College of Law donated to the scholarship, along with 36 College of Law alumni. The project ranks as the most successful student-led crowdfunding campaign undertaken at Georgia State.
The Class of 2023 Alex Patafio Scholarship crowdfunding project is still open and accepting donations. Learn more about Patafio’s remarkable legacy and how to honor her memory by contributing to the College of Law Class of 2023 class gift at impact.gsu.edu/goodlaw.
Explore how donor dollars make a difference every day at Georgia State at giving.gsu.edu.