What leadership roles or volunteer experiences have been important to you during your time at Maryland?
I am part of an organization called Terp Thon. Terp Thon raises money for Children's National Health Network through various events that cumulate in a 12-hour dance marathon in March.My personal journey with Terp Thon has been incredibly inspiring so far. Upon joining the organization, I did not quite fully understood its purpose and goals, however, I had passion to stay involved. Speaking from my personal experience, I witnessed a person very dear to me become a completely different individual full of desperation and pain because of a certain health condition. The only thing this person wanted and needed was to have more time, but no one could give it to her: not doctors, not medicine, no one. By watching this person battle through the horror she did not deserve, I have developed enormous sense of compassion towards people who were going through similar experiences. Terp Thon has given me a chance to help children who are going through a very rough time, and give them hope and a chance to experience things in life that were taken away from them. I think the two most important things that Terp Thon does for Children’s National’s patients is bringing light into their lives and providing them with a community full of people eager to emotionally support them. While each child’s journey is unique, I feel that there is a common feeling of worry, fear, and other forms of psychological stress. Terp Thon brings this needed emotional support and tells these children that there are people out there who care deeply and passionately about them. I think it is so important to show these kids that while they have to fight a battle they did not want to fight, they have friends who will be there to stand right beside them. Terp Thon has given me an opportunity for self-discovery, and the chance to put my words into action and show miracle kids their significance. I want the children to have more time filled with joy and happiness.
What has your scholarship meant to you and how has it enabled you to pursue new and exciting opportunities?
The scholarship allowed me to further pursue my goals of becoming a therapist. With rising college tuitions, it becomes harder to focus on studying and more focus goes towards thinking about ways being able to afford to attend college. However, due to my donor’s generosity, I did not have to think about my financial situation and had more time spent on being focused on school work. My scholarship also taught me to be more giving and compassionate. With so many things going on in our lives, we choose to spend most of our attention on ourselves. When we see someone in need, we think that someone else might help them so we never help them ourselves. But if everyone thinks the same way then who will actually support those people? Giving back is one of the most essential things in our lives and my scholarship reinforced my opinion on the importance of being generous. I think one of the bravest things we can do as individuals is to be able to give away or give up something you need for someone who need it more. I will forever remember to aspire to give back to the world and not live my life selfishly.
How will you make a positive difference in the world?
As a very special person who inspired me through this year has said, you must never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has. I think my biggest goal in my life is to support people who need help of any kind. I want to rise people who have fallen behind, aspire ones that need motivation and guidance, sympathize with those who feel alone. I want to share my energy with the world and promote kindness and compassion in people’s hearts. I want to put all my effort in helping others. Therefore, I want to accomplish these goals because I want it harder than I ever wanted anything in my life and I am willing to go through all the hardships in my way because I know that in the end the struggle will be worth of the results.
What is your major, minor, class and graduation year?
I am a double-major student studying General Biology and Psychology. I plan to graduate in May, 2017.
What is your Hometown?
I am from Bethesda, Maryland. However, I came from Russia originally.