During my gap year, I wanted to continue my education despite not being in a classroom environment by documenting two Afro-descendant populations in Central America, learning about quirky topics in Asia, and fully immersing myself in cultures by residing with locals. Through this period of exploration, I discovered my passion for navigating unfamiliar environments, researching different countries, and finding commonalities between individuals with warring beliefs.
I am currently completing my associate degree to transfer to a four year institution to major in political science and minor in Mandarin. I chose these two fields of study due to my desire to work for the United States Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer and the government declaring learning Mandarin crucial for national security. Furthermore, I believe finding a way for these two powers to coexist and mutually thrive is important for the world, due to documented patterns that showed war is likely when a rising power attempts to displace an existing one.
To achieve my career aspiration, I plan to apply to two fellowships for graduate studies after completing my bachelor’s degree: Charles B. Rangel Graduate Fellowship and Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship. Both of these programs provide participants with support in their graduate studies, internships, and appointments as officers after completing the program.
Receiving this scholarship will reduce my financial burden and maximize my college experience through volunteering at CitySquare’s food pantry and taking on leadership roles, such as being president of the Alpha Zeta Eta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. For both CitySquare’s food pantry and Alpha Zeta Eta, I saw a lack of participants— which caused these organizations to not function at their highest potential—then took appropriate action.
I first started volunteering at CitySquare to have human interaction during the pandemic and to assist when there was a decline in volunteers due to school beginning and people returning to work. Throughout my experience, I became aware of my ignorance regarding the large number of people impacted by food insecurity.
Also, this fall, I became the president of the Alpha Zeta Eta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. I was quite skeptical at first due to the lack of officers and the chapter’s recent history of being dispersed in 2019, but said yes due to my fondness for challenges. My role as the president is to embody tenacity- to persist in rebuilding the chapter despite our late beginning and substantial number of tasks needed to be completed in a short period.
As we continue to scratch off requirements from the Five Star Plan, I have seen growth in this team and our language becoming assertive. Instead of saying we are “trying” to rebuild our chapter’s esteem, we removed passive words from our vocabulary and are progressively moving towards this goal.
By receiving funding for my education, I will be able to make a difference in my community and act when recognizing a need.