“This scholarship allows me to rise above the usual limitations of my background, and pursue the kind of education my parents were not fortunate enough to receive.”
How did your summer experiences clarify your career or academic interests (for example, a Metcalf internship or research opportunity)?
The Metcalf stipend guaranteed by the Odyssey scholarship allowed me the financial security to pursue a pure research internship without worrying about having to work to afford college. I was able to find something that fit my interests, while remaining close to home. The opportunity to both spend time with my family and advance my professional aspirations was extremely valuable, and the research experience I gained from it has made me a more attractive applicant in searching for additional research opportunities back here on campus.
Please describe how you are choosing your course of study. Have there been clarifying moments in your Core classes or particularly inspiring professors who are helping identify your academic passions?
I originally came into the College as a biology major, but talking to Peggy Mason in the department of neurobiology really helped guide me toward my eventual major choice. As a pre-med, the brain had always been a source of fascination for me, so neuroscience was a good fit for my interests. Having Peggy Mason as a professor then cemented my decision, and I recently made the official declaration of neuroscience as my major.
What activities are you involved with outside the classroom?
I am currently a member of the Multicultural Student Advisory Committee in UChicago Admissions, providing programming and resources to underrepresented prospective and current students. I am also a certified Emergency Medical Responder with UChicago Emergency Medical Services, providing medical aid at various school events. Additionally, I am a member of the NEURO Club, and a volunteer in the UChicago Medicine Emergency Department. In my free time, I love playing and refereeing intramural sports and exploring the city of Chicago.
If you could speak directly to the person whose gift supported your scholarship, what would you say?
I am a first-generation college student. My father is a carpenter, and my mother does nails at a salon. I did not have access to a private school education, tutors, or college prep courses. This scholarship allows me to rise above the usual limitations of my background, and pursue the kind of education my parents were not fortunate enough to receive. It gives me the means through which to apply the same hard work and determination that got me here. I want to make a better life for my family, both current and future, and your gift is allowing me to do that. For giving me this opportunity, I can never thank you enough. I can promise you that your gift will not be wasted.