What leadership roles or volunteer experiences have been important to you during your time at Maryland?
My leadership role in the community is a diversified one, for it has allowed me to support campus service, community service, and campus government. I am very grateful for these leadership positions because they have allowed me to experience a great range of leadership styles. More importantly, they have given me the opportunity to tackle many prominent issues in my community.
I have had the privilege of founding a not for profit sustainability consulting service as the Vice President of Advocacy for Society for Green Business, a student run club. With this position, I lead a committee of ten students to launch several initiatives that help businesses both on and off campus take an active role in going green. One of the initiatives that I launched won Ernst and Young’s Your World, Your Vision competition at the Maryland level. As a club representative of the Smith Undergraduate Student Association Assembly, I have consistently voiced my opinions and ideas on ways to improve other students’ experience at the Smith school. I drafted three bills, all of which were passed to help the business school be a better place for undergraduates. Service is one of the fundamental values of my sorority, and I thought taking a leadership role as the Philanthropy Chairman of Sigma Kappa Sorority would be a great way to both sustain and invigorate this ideal among the other sisters. The biggest fundraising event I organized brought together three hundred students from both the Greek and Non- Greek community, and raised over two thousand dollars. Overall, I helped our sorority raise over eight thousand dollars for a variety of different humanitarian organizations. Currently, I am the President of Order of Omega, an honor society for the top 3% of Greek leaders. In addition to the positions I discussed, I was also Vice President of Academic Affairs for the Panhellenic Association, Secretary for Sigma Kappa Sorority, Vice President of Fundraising for Revolutions Dance Ensemble, and an active member in Omicron Delta Kappa and Primannum Honor Society.
What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
My financial situation is a unique one. My family emigrated from China when I was ten in hopes of giving me a better educational opportunity. However, my parents believe that I should be responsible for my college expenses, because they have already provided me with the privilege of coming to America. Therefore, I am paying for all my college expenses including tuition, housing, books, food, and living expenses myself. Thus, I have just been working to be able to pay for all the fees needed to attend a four-year university.
These past years has been stressful as I try to juggle multiple jobs while taking over fifteen credits each semester, and attempting to be very involved in extracurricular activities. Tuition plus all other expenses tend to total around $17,000 a year, and these scholarships make such a significant contribution to these fees. Beyond just the monetary benefit though, these awards provide me with the benefit of having more time in a day.
With these scholarships, I can divert some of the time that I would have spent working, to participating in the range of activities that will both stimulate my personal growth and help improve our community. I now have more time to volunteer, time to excel academically, and even time to study abroad. This time for me is absolutely priceless.