What leadership roles or volunteer experiences have been important to you during your time at Maryland?
I volunteer, on winter breaks and weekends, at a soup kitchen, in Washington D.C., called Martha's Tables. At Martha's Tables, I have prepared meals, as well as served them to the homeless. In addition, I donate canned goods and winter clothes to the non-profit foundation. During my time at the University of Maryland, I have joined a club called "Terps for Bernie", where students raise fund and phonebank, in support for the presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders. Club members would also encourage students to register and vote during the primary and general election, even if the student did not support Senator Sanders. The "Terps for Bernie" Club and I believe it is our civic duty, as a U.S. citizen, to exercise our rights to vote.
What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
Both of my parents do not have a college degree. My father is a Medicare recipient and my mother works two jobs. With this information, it is conclusive to say I do not come from a family with money. Therefore, the Ripin Scholarship has meant a lot to me, because it not only supports my education, but it has given me the confidence to continue pursuing my goals. I hope to one day be able to return such kindness and allow a student, with similar circumstances, the financial opportunity Mr. and Mrs. Ripin has given me.
Why did you choose to attend the University of Maryland, what makes this place special to you and what is your favorite part of being a Terp?
I decided to attend the University of Maryland because I have grown up in Prince George's County since the age of three. The University is 10 minutes from my childhood home and my high school. I have made many memories in this county, and many being at the University. I hope to, one day, travel all across the globe, but this will always be my home. My favorite part about being a Terp is that the school has not only helped me financially and educationally, but has also helped me through personal difficulties. I am happy that the University faculties do not treat me just as another student, but also treats me as if I were one of their own family members.
How will you make a positive difference in the world?
One of my goals in life is to work for a non-profit foundation or the goverment, whose main goal is to end poverty in America. I believe the key to ending poverty is through education. Unfortunately, many children in America are limited from receiving good education. By working for foundations, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, or passing laws in Congress, I hope to make a positive difference in the world by making education more accessable for students.
What is your major, minor, class and graduation year?
My major is Mathematics and I plan on graduating in the year 2019.
What is your Hometown?
I was born in Suginami-Ku, Toyko Japan. However, I moved to the United States of America, when I was three years old. Since then, I have been a resident of New Carrollton, MD.
Tell us about your favorite class, extracurricular activity, academic opportunity, community involvement or another unique experience.
One of my favorite extracurricular activity is yoga. Every Monday evening, at the University Recreation and Wellness, I meet with other undergraduate and graduate students to exercise and de-stress. It is a positive experience to learn about your physical health, as well as your mental health. Yoga is also a great place to meet new friends, who are doing great things; getting their Ph.D., working for an investment bank, joining the Marines, etc.