What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
This scholarship has meant a great deal to me because among other things, it has allowed me to participate in a week-long UMD alternative breaks service trip over winter break to learn about the issues surrounding rural education and take action volunteering in the KIPP charter school in Gaston, NC. During my trip, I assisted lead teachers by administering activities with small groups and individual students, completed a variety of administrative tasks for faculty around the school, and interacted with many students and staff to form positive relationships. Throughout this experience, my group was able to learn about the struggles of rural education from leaders in the community, and see the effects first hand during our service at KIPP. Our group intensely discussed our experiences, every night, to reflect on what we had seen and learned and to brainstorm ways we could make an impact to help these students. This trip really opened my eyes to issues surrounding education and the struggles some students go through just to receive an adequate and basic education. I will be able to bring this knowledge into my future career as an educator. This experience would not have been possible without this scholarship and, for that, I am truly thankful.
What is your major, minor, class and graduation year?
My major is Elementary Education with a concentration in Mathematics. My Graduation year is May 2018.
What is your Hometown?
My hometown is Frederick, Maryland.
Tell us about your favorite class, extracurricular activity, academic opportunity, community involvement or another unique experience.
One of the best decisions I have made in my time here at UMD was when I decided to join a sorority my freshman year, with the hopes of gaining leadership and communication experience. Over the course of my involvement with my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, I have been able to take on a variety of leadership roles. Last year I was elected Sisterhood Chair, which is a leadership position that works with the executive board to plan sisterhood events that promote better group relationships. That position helped me to improve my communication skills with large groups of people and with instructing group collaboration. This year, I was elected into a higher leadership role on our executive board, as Vice President of Chapter Relations and Standards. This position requires me to uphold group standards by leading council board meetings to mediate issues, develop and implement solutions, and to maintain the wellbeing of the chapter. So far this experience has taught me so much about leadership and about the best ways to confront people and work out situations that are controversial. This knowledge and experience is preparing me for my future in the classroom, by providing me with experience of mediating issues and teaching me that every person is different and may need different kinds of guidance to change behavior or actions in the future.
Furthermore, part of the reason I decided to join a sorority, was due to the experience and exposure I would gain working with our philanthropy. My sorority’s philanthropy is centered on protecting victims of domestic violence and spreading awareness about the issue. Learning about domestic violence and other types of abuse has helped to educate me about the different situations that people experience in their home life. This will help me in my future career by making me aware of the possible challenges that children can face at home, which may impact their behavior or success in the classroom.