What leadership roles or volunteer experiences have been important to you during your time at Maryland?
I have really cherished and appreciated the leadership roles and volunteer experiences that have given me the opportunity to explore backgrounds different from my own during my time at Maryland. I have been on three trips through the Alternative Break program. In January 2013, I went to Gaston, North Carolina to engage in community service centered around rural education; In March of 2014, I visited Chicago to learn more about urban education; and in March 2015, I participated in a trip focused on homelessness, health and advocacy in the LGBTQA youth community.
These experiences I have really humbled me and taught me that community service is not about "serving" someone. It is about joining with diverse backgrounds to understand, learn, and uplift a community. I have been so touched by the many people I have met on these trips, and I would not have had these experiences were it not for UMD.
What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
This year, I was fortunate to receive a scholarship that assisted me in paying for my student teaching experience. Without this, I would not be able to get certified to teach nor would I be able to complete my Master's program. The scholarship has given me the opportunity to work in a school, where I am able to apply the wonderful teachings I have learned from my professors and other field experiences through the University of Maryland.
Having some of the financial burden alleviated has given me time to focus more on my future career and ways I would want to give back so in a few years I can help someone who is just like 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?
My senior year of high school was such a blur. Looking back, I was not really prepared to apply to college. I did not really consider many universities/colleges or what I would be doing for the next four years post-secondary school. It has been six years since I graduated high school, and I am proud to say I do not regret any choices I have made by choosing to be a Terp.
I have lived near UMD majority of my life and at first, I did not see the school as the place where I wanted to go. I had my mind set on another school at the time. However, I recall visiting Maryland with a friend for an Admitted Student Open House. The minute I stepped foot on campus that day, it was so different than any other time I had been there before. Something about the spirit of the campus was so lively. I could not describe it as welcoming or inviting because it just felt like home already. My friend and I had not even been sitting in Cole Field House for more than five minutes, before I turned to her and said, "I am going here! This is where I have to be!" I remember her saying, "Me too!"
I believe that is what makes the school so special. There's a comforting feeling about being a Terp, knowing you can be so different yet feel like you belong. For me, it is feeling I had searched for most of my life until I got here, and I am so grateful.
What is your major, minor, class and graduation year?
I am currently a graduate student studying Special Education. I received my B.S. in Special Education last Spring 2015. I also earned a minor in Human Development during undergrad.
What is your Hometown?
I am from Hyattsville, Maryland.