What leadership roles or volunteer experiences have been important to you during your time at Maryland?
Upon transfering to UMD, one of the greatest statements ever to reach my ears was, "We stand on the shoulders of giants". This statement resonated with me so much that is has become apart of my being, in that it influences much of my thinking. "We are" as a result of the people that we have met along the way. The faculty infuses a spirt of collectivism and support toward societal improvement that one cannot help but to reach back and pay it forward. Every year, I go back to Howard Community College to participate in seminars that go a long way toward helping the retention of young students. It is important to give back, but it is also important to let others know that if I can make it somehow, then so can you.
What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
Words cannot express what the scholarship has meant to me. Without it, I would not be in school today. Recently, I became unemployed because my employer could no longer support my school schedule. While it was devastating to become unemployed, I held onto the belief that regardless of the circumstances, I had to keep moving forward. When I received the scholarship, I cried. The scholarship answered my prayers and it confirmed the path taken, which is become an art teacher. Through art, I want to help children in identity development. Meaning that it is my hope to help them to discover their innate desires, whether it be music, art, or science. I firmly believe that with guidance in helping children to discover the inner gifts, we can improve the lives of individuals and society as a whole.
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?
Every day, I travel to the University of Maryland from Baltimore County. The trip is long and arduous, not to mention the gas money it takes to get back and forth, but the trip is worthwhile. When I decided on UMD, I had a feeling that the university would challenge me intellectually, but I had no idea that I would have the opportunity to be involved in an the College of Education Honors program, where I was amongst a group of three scholars, who examined the issue of social exclusion in elementary school aged children. The experience was formative in critical thinking and research, but most of all, it aligned with my desire to help young children and improve the world through scholarly research. In addition, in terms of the faculty at large, I have had the opportunity of being taught by some of the best in their fields, and when someone states that UMD is too expensive, my response is well... yes, it is expensive, but you get your monies worth.
How will you make a positive difference in the world?
By helping children to discover their dreams, I will help them to be intrinsically motivated to connect academics with personal and career goals. In addition, I will help them to discover their preferred learning styles, which will help them to realize that intelligence is not fixed, but malleable. They will in turn realize that their lives are malleable as well. Through perseverance and hard work, they will realize their dreams. In doing so, they will realize that obtaining your dreams is not a singular objective, because it is a collective endeavor. Parents, teachers, siblings, and peers are a part of forming and realizing a dream. This will in turn inspire others to do the same, creating a domino effect through out communities and society.