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Adaora Emenyonu

1355

Bold Points

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Finalist

Bio

Hello! I am an aspiring dentist soon to be entering my third year of undergrad. My interest in dentistry started in fifth grade. For three years, I had more metal in my mouth than teeth, a headgear, and wires poking sores into my cheeks. I experienced firsthand how the smallest dental inconveniences can vastly affect daily life. As such, I aim to be a dentist that can help people live their best lives. I want to help people eat freely, talk effortlessly, and be proud of their smile. My passions do not stop at dentistry. Currently, I train and lead freshmen through an outdoor immersion program. Through my leadership I have been able to develop a more nuanced relationship with the natural world and connect with wonderful people in meaningful and long lasting ways. I have been able to understand myself in relation to a changing world through thoughtful and open discussion around the experience of living in the midst of a climate, social, and health crisis. In that, the unexpected in-between learning moments have stayed with me and promoted a great sense of confidence to be able to grow from situations that are difficult as well as help others grow from their difficult areas. With your support, I will be able to pursue my dream to be a dentist that not only helps her patients live their best lives, but also gives back to those who have helped her along the way. I want to be an asset to my community, peers, and supporters. Thank you for your time and consideration!

Education

Kalamazoo College

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Education, General
    • Computer Science
    • Second Language Learning
    • Dentistry

Clements H S

High School
2017 - 2021

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering
    • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other
    • Dentistry
    • Accounting and Computer Science
    • Education, General
    • Education, Other
  • Planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Education

    • Dream career goals:

      Sports

      Cross-Country Running

      Junior Varsity
      2018 – Present6 years

      Arts

      • Orchestra

        Music
        2011 – Present

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        Center for Civic Engagement — My role is to work alongside Woodward staff in classrooms during Daytime Program,assist staff in the cafeteria, playground, and Lunch Clubs during Lunch/Recess Program, and provide general support during After-School Program.
        2022 – Present

      Future Interests

      Advocacy

      Volunteering

      Philanthropy

      Entrepreneurship

      Sunshine Legall Scholarship
      As a non-traditional, minority student of both gender and race, growing up in Texas, I was constantly reminded of the harsh realities of systematic oppression in public schools. It's something I still experience and see today as I pursue my dream of being the first person in my family to graduate from college. By fulfilling my dream, I hope to pave the way for other students like me. I aim to prevent students from accepting societal beliefs that blame our disparities on our environments, associated traumas, and racial, or gender inferiorities and encourage people to learn about their cultural relevance and undermine the biases presented to them. Research on school discipline disparities has demonstrated three key trends across the country: black students are more likely to be referred for disciplinary action for subjective infractions, black students are more likely to receive harsher consequences for disciplinary infractions, and discipline disparities are driven by classroom teachers’ decisions to refer a student for disciplinary action and by school administrators’ decisions in response to those referrals. This is why I now work at my local elementary school to help aid me in preparation for becoming a pediatric dentist. My goal is to engage in the broader community in my city through direct collaboration with students. I directly involve myself in addressing issues surrounding educational equity and social justice in Public Schools and provide opportunities for students to engage in additional academic enrichment programs so that I can influence their decision to attend college. I enjoy providing general support to students throughout the day and feel proud to be the representation I needed when I was in elementary school. As a black woman in college, I am constantly being observed and watched. I am expected to meet the standards, always show up, and look “professional”. If I fall short in an area, very few times is it excused. Experiencing this has made it important to serve as an example to young women of color and mentor them to overcome challenges ahead. I believe Racial disparities in public schools should be understood within the context of racial inequities in societal institutions. Systematic discrimination is not the aberrant behavior of a few but is often supported by institutional policies and unconscious bias based on negative stereotypes. I hope to continue fighting for my community by effectively addressing disparities in the quality of care that requires improved data systems, increased regulatory vigilance, and new initiatives to appropriately train educators and recruit more providers from disadvantaged minority backgrounds. Presently, I am in my sophomore year. I find myself reeling in waves of excitement combined with nervous energy and a bit of fear of the unknown journey ahead. The path to success is not easy. It takes self-discipline, esteem, education and a support system. Many of these requirements are not readily available to everyone. This creates extraordinary situations for many to overcome. The more of us that succeed despite societal inequities will serve as an inspiration to others. As I look back to my younger self, so timid and afraid of the unknown, I am proud to be where I am today. Pediatric dentistry is the perfect combination of art and science that will allow me to offer compassion to my community and devote myself to teaching students just like me.
      Theresa Lord Future Leader Scholarship
      When I think of who I am and my background as a whole, I automatically think of my childhood in my single-parent home. Growing up, I never thought much of living as a child of a single-alcoholic parent. It was normal to me. All my life, my mother had given in to the bottle. My mom's addiction consumed her and distracted her from her duties as a mother. I never received help on my homework, had school clothes that fit, had birthday or Christmas presents, or received enough attention. At the time, education was the only stability present in life. The school was the only thing that no one could take away from me. So as is uncommon with most kids, I never dreaded going to school. Instead, I was eager to ask various questions about assignments, homework, and anything and everything that had to do with math and science. But being the only black girl in my class, it was hard to relate to other students. Without the proper stability and encouragement to focus on my studies, I began to slip away from my academic desire. Being underrepresented in my class made me yearn to belong and fit in socially. As I got older, my passion for math dwindled. It wasn't until my 7th-grade teacher Mrs.Smith cared for me and made me feel seen and heard that I found that burst of enthusiasm and excitement for school. Being in Mrs. Smith's class pushed me to pursue a career in education. Although I faced a lot of challenges while growing up, it has been a motivating factor throughout my life. My goal is to extend my journey of empowering women and localizing talent by becoming a teacher. My dream is to one day help my community by offering services to girls like me. I am motivated to not only serve as a role model and ambassador for children who deal with alcoholism in their lives but also to use my voice to encourage young girls to focus on their studies. By fulfilling my dream, I hope to pave the way for other students like me. I plan to prevent black women from accepting societal beliefs that blame our disparities on our environments, associated traumas, and racial, or gender inferiorities and encourage women to learn about their cultural relevance and undermine the biases presented to them. I hope to continue fighting for my community by effectively addressing disparities in the quality of care that requires improved data systems, increased regulatory vigilance, and recruiting more students from disadvantaged minority backgrounds. Being a non-traditional student, my path to a career in education differs from most, but my goals take me to the very same rooms that inspire all. The path to success is not easy. I find myself reeling in waves of excitement combined with nervous energy and a bit of fear of the unknown journey ahead to becoming a computer scientist. It takes self-discipline, esteem, education and a support system. Many of these requirements are not readily available to everyone. This creates extraordinary situations for many to overcome. The more of us that succeed despite societal inequities will serve as an inspiration to others. As I look back to my younger self, so timid and afraid of the unknown, I am proud to be where I am today. Education is the perfect combination of art and science that will allow me to offer compassion to my community and devote my life to teaching students just like me.
      JADED Recovery Scholarship
      The bitter rain pelted my skin and plummeted towards the ground and exploded with a hard shattering force. I was consumed by the thunderous shouts of my parents. I couldn’t concentrate on what they were saying. I could only feel the searing pain in my heart. I bit my lip to keep from crying. I couldn’t show my mom how much this hurt me. I stood numb and hollow. I remember that day so vividly: the day I was forced to leave my single alcoholic mother. Surrounded by howling dark clouds, my heart broke in two as I arrived at my father’s home. My heart ached as I realized nothing I could do would ever make my mom stop drinking. It felt as though my leaving meant nothing to her. I shuddered as a tear fell from my eye while I thought of the life I was leaving. Growing up, I never thought much of living as a child of a single, alcoholic parent. It was normal to me. All my life, my mother had given in to the bottle. My mom's addiction consumed her and distracted her from her duties as a mother. I never received help on my homework, had school clothes that fit, had birthday or Christmas presents, or received enough attention. I felt like my mom did not care about me, and I hated her for it. There were times when neither I nor my sister had food to eat, but my mother had enough money to buy cigarettes and alcohol. After leaving behind my toxic dynamic, I began to feel sympathy for my mom after learning her story. All of the trauma I faced as a child was a cycle. I learned that my grandma was an alcoholic and would leave for months, while her five kids were left to provide for themselves. My grandma turned to alcohol because she was an immigrant living in Nigeria and her husband would physically abuse her. My mother turned to alcohol because she was a witness to this abuse. I realized that both my mother and grandmother turned to alcohol because they felt like they had no one. “Black women are strong”, society says. Yet nobody was there to help them when they needed it, so they turned to other sources like drugs and alcohol. I use what I learned during the struggles of my isolating circumstances every day by reflecting on them. When I think of who I am and my background as a whole, I automatically think of growing up in my single-parent home. Although this is one of the biggest challenges I may have had to face while growing up, it has been a motivating factor throughout my life. My goal is to become a dentist. Health care remains the predominant concern for most Americans. My dream is to one day help my community by offering services to the underprivileged. I am motivated to not only serve as a role model and ambassador for children who deal with alcoholism in their lives but also use my voice to destigmatize people with addictions because they need help. By fulfilling my dream, I hope to pave the way for other women like me. I plan to prevent black women from accepting societal beliefs that blame our disparities on our environments, associated traumas, and racial, or gender inferiorities and encourage women to learn about their cultural relevance and undermine the biases presented to them.
      Robert F. Lawson Fund for Careers that Care
      As a non-traditional, minority student of both gender and race, growing up in Texas, I was constantly reminded of the harsh realities of systematic oppression in public schools. It's something I still experience and see today as I pursue my dream of being the first person in my family to graduate from college. By fulfilling my dream, I hope to pave the way for other students like me. I aim to prevent students from accepting societal beliefs that blame our disparities on our environments, associated traumas, and racial, or gender inferiorities and encourage people to learn about their cultural relevance and undermine the biases presented to them. Research on school discipline disparities has demonstrated three key trends across the country: black students are more likely to be referred for disciplinary action for subjective infractions, black students are more likely to receive harsher consequences for disciplinary infractions, and discipline disparities are driven by classroom teachers’ decisions to refer a student for disciplinary action and by school administrators’ decisions in response to those referrals. This is why I now work at my local elementary school. My goal is to engage in the broader community in my city through direct collaboration with students. I directly involve myself in addressing issues surrounding educational equity and social justice in Public Schools and provide opportunities for students to engage in additional academic enrichment programs so that I can influence their decision to attend college. I enjoy providing general support to students throughout the day and feel proud to be the representation I needed when I was in elementary school. As a black woman in college, I am constantly being observed and watched. I am expected to meet the standards, always show up, and look “professional”. If I fall short in an area, very few times is it excused. Experiencing this has made it important to serve as an example to young women of color and mentor them to overcome challenges ahead. I believe Racial disparities in public schools should be understood within the context of racial inequities in societal institutions. Systematic discrimination is not the aberrant behavior of a few but is often supported by institutional policies and unconscious bias based on negative stereotypes. I hope to continue fighting for my community by effectively addressing disparities in the quality of care that requires improved data systems, increased regulatory vigilance, and new initiatives to appropriately train educators and recruit more providers from disadvantaged minority backgrounds. Presently, I am in my sophomore year. I find myself reeling in waves of excitement combined with nervous energy and a bit of fear of the unknown journey ahead. The path to success is not easy. It takes self-discipline, esteem, education and a support system. Many of these requirements are not readily available to everyone. This creates extraordinary situations for many to overcome. The more of us that succeed despite societal inequities will serve as an inspiration to others. As I look back to my younger self, so timid and afraid of the unknown, I am proud to be where I am today. Education is the perfect combination of art and science that will allow me to offer compassion to my community and devote myself to teaching students just like me.
      Paige's Promise Scholarship
      The bitter rain pelted my skin and plummeted towards the ground and exploded with a hard shattering force. I was consumed by the thunderous shouts of my parents. I couldn’t concentrate on what they were saying. I could only feel the searing pain in my heart. I bit my lip to keep from crying. I couldn’t show my mom how much this hurt me. I stood numb and hollow. I remember that day so vividly: the day I was forced to leave my single alcoholic mother. Surrounded by howling dark clouds, my heart broke in two as I arrived at my father’s home. My heart ached as I realized nothing I could do would ever make my mom stop drinking. It felt as though my leaving meant nothing to her. I shuddered as a tear fell from my eye while I thought of the life I was leaving. Growing up, I never thought much of living as a child of a single, alcoholic parent. It was normal to me. All my life, my mother had given in to the bottle. My mom's addiction consumed her and distracted her from her duties as a mother. I never received help on my homework, had school clothes that fit, had birthday or Christmas presents, or received enough attention. I felt like my mom did not care about me, and I hated her for it. There were times when neither I nor my sister had food to eat, but my mother had enough money to buy cigarettes and alcohol. After leaving behind my toxic dynamic, I began to feel sympathy for my mom after learning her story. All of the trauma I faced as a child was a cycle. I learned that my grandma was an alcoholic and would leave for months, while her five kids were left to provide for themselves. My grandma turned to alcohol because she was an immigrant living in Nigeria and her husband would physically abuse her. My mother turned to alcohol because she was a witness to this abuse. I realized that both my mother and grandmother turned to alcohol because they felt like they had no one. “Black women are strong”, society says. Yet nobody was there to help them when they needed it, so they turned to other sources like drugs and alcohol. I will use what I learned during the struggles of my isolating circumstances to teach others about substance abuse. I want to help others recover by sharing my story and reflections and connecting with others. When I think of who I am and my background as a whole, I automatically think of growing up in my single-parent home. Although this is one of the biggest challenges I may have had to face while growing up, it has been a motivating factor throughout my life. My goal is to become a dentist. I am motivated to not only serve as a role model and ambassador for children who deal with alcoholism in their lives but also use my voice to destigmatize people with addictions because they need help. By fulfilling my dream, I hope to pave the way for other women like me. I plan to prevent black women from accepting societal beliefs that blame our disparities on our environments, associated traumas, and racial, or gender inferiorities and encourage women to learn about their cultural relevance and undermine the biases presented to them.
      GD Sandeford Memorial Scholarship
      As a non-traditional, minority student of both gender and race, growing up in Texas, I was constantly reminded of the harsh realities of systematic oppression in public schools. It's something I still experience and see today as I pursue my dream of being the first person in my family to graduate from college. By fulfilling my dream, I hope to pave the way for other students like me. I aim to prevent students from accepting societal beliefs that blame our disparities on our environments, associated traumas, and racial, or gender inferiorities and encourage people to learn about their cultural relevance and undermine the biases presented to them. Research on school discipline disparities has demonstrated three key trends across the country: black students are more likely to be referred for disciplinary action for subjective infractions, black students are more likely to receive harsher consequences for disciplinary infractions, and discipline disparities are driven by classroom teachers’ decisions to refer a student for disciplinary action and by school administrators’ decisions in response to those referrals. This is why I now work at my local elementary school to help aid me in preparation in becoming a pediatric dentist. My goal is to engage in the broader community in my city through direct collaboration with students. I directly involve myself in addressing issues surrounding educational equity and social justice in Public Schools and provide opportunities for students to engage in additional academic enrichment programs so that I can influence their decision to attend college. I enjoy providing general support to students throughout the day and feel proud to be the representation I needed when I was in elementary school. As a black woman in college, I am constantly being observed and watched. I am expected to meet the standards, always show up, and look “professional”. If I fall short in an area, very few times is it excused. Experiencing this has made it important to serve as an example to young women of color and mentor them to overcome challenges ahead. I believe Racial disparities in public schools should be understood within the context of racial inequities in societal institutions. Systematic discrimination is not the aberrant behavior of a few but is often supported by institutional policies and unconscious bias based on negative stereotypes. I hope to continue fighting for my community by effectively addressing disparities in the quality of care that requires improved data systems, increased regulatory vigilance, and new initiatives to appropriately train educators and recruit more providers from disadvantaged minority backgrounds. Presently, I am in my sophomore year. I find myself reeling in waves of excitement combined with nervous energy and a bit of fear of the unknown journey ahead. The path to success is not easy. It takes self-discipline, esteem, education and a support system. Many of these requirements are not readily available to everyone. This creates extraordinary situations for many to overcome. The more of us that succeed despite societal inequities will serve as an inspiration to others. As I look back to my younger self, so timid and afraid of the unknown, I am proud to be where I am today. Pediatric dentistry is the perfect combination of art and science that will allow me to offer compassion to my community and devote myself to teaching students just like me.
      Walking In Authority International Ministry Scholarship
      Research on school discipline disparities has demonstrated three key trends across the country: black students are more likely to be referred for disciplinary action for subjective infractions, black students are more likely to receive harsher consequences for disciplinary infractions, and discipline disparities are driven by classroom teachers’ decisions to refer a student for disciplinary action and by school administrators’ decisions in response to those referrals. As a non-traditional, minority student of both gender and race, growing up in Texas, I was constantly reminded of these harsh realities of systematic oppression in public schools. It's something I still experience and see today as I pursue my dream of becoming a dentist. With only 3.8% of dentists being black, as a black woman in college, going to dental school is a daunting endeavor. I am constantly being observed and watched. I am expected to meet the standards, always show up, and look “professional”. If I fall short in an area, very few times is it excused. Experiencing this has made it important to me to prevent other African American women from accepting these societal beliefs that blame our disparities on racial or gender inferiorities and encourage girls to learn about their cultural relevance and undermine gender and racial biases presented to them. This is why I now work at my local elementary school. My goal is to engage in the broader community in my city through direct collaboration with students. I directly involve myself in addressing issues surrounding educational equity and social justice in Public Schools and provide opportunities for students to engage in additional academic enrichment programs so that I can influence their decision to attend college. I enjoy providing general support to students throughout the day and feel proud to be the representation I needed when I was in elementary school. Through my work, I have made identifying effective strategies to eliminate racial inequities in school systems a priority by implementing the restorative justice practice of talking circles within my classroom. Talking circles are gatherings in which all students sit in a circle facing each other to facilitate open, direct communication about sensitive topics, work through differences, and build consensus. Through the structured process used in Circles, students learn how to collaborate and work through differences in a productive way as they respect each other. Students and teachers are taught active listening to carefully attend to what each person has to say to create a balance of power. Implementing talking circles in the classrooms has developed a culture that welcomes and accepts the need for reflection and revisiting decisions. It is a subtle change that has increased the opportunities for students' and teachers’ perspectives to guide inquiries into root causes of disparities and identify potential solutions. I believe Racial disparities in public schools should be understood within the context of racial inequities in societal institutions. Systematic discrimination is not the aberrant behavior of a few but is often supported by institutional policies and unconscious bias based on negative stereotypes. I hope to continue fighting for my community by effectively addressing disparities in the quality of care that requires improved data systems, increased regulatory vigilance, and new initiatives to appropriately train educators and recruit more providers from disadvantaged minority backgrounds. I find myself reeling in waves of excitement, displacement, joy, and isolation in my work. While there have been a few less-than-savory experiences, overall, I’ve found a career that 100% fits me. And as I look back to my younger self I am so proud to be where I am today.
      Si Se Puede Scholarship
      Perseverance: It always seems impossible until it is done. The bitter rain pelted my skin and plummeted towards the ground and exploded with a hard shattering force. I was consumed by the thunderous shouts of my parents. I couldn’t concentrate on what they were saying. I could only feel the searing pain in my heart. I bit my lip to keep from crying. I couldn’t show my mom how much this hurt me. I stood numb and hollow. I remember that day so vividly: the day I was forced to leave my single alcoholic mother. Surrounded by howling dark clouds, my heart broke in two as I arrived at my father’s home. My heart ached as I realized nothing I could do would ever make my mom stop drinking. It felt as though my leaving meant nothing to her. I shuddered as a tear fell from my eye while I thought of the life I was leaving. Growing up, I never thought much of living as a child of a single, alcoholic parent. It was normal to me. All my life, my mother had given in to the bottle. My mom's addiction consumed her and distracted her from her duties as a mother. I never received help on my homework, had school clothes that fit, had birthday or Christmas presents, or received enough attention. I felt like my mom did not care about me, and I hated her for it. There were times when neither I nor my sister had food to eat, but my mother had enough money to buy cigarettes and alcohol. When I think of perseverance, I automatically think of growing up in my single-parent home. To me, perseverance is not giving up. When I had to leave my mom's house for my safety It was persistence, tenacity, and the effort to do something and keep doing it till I succeed, even if it's hard. After leaving behind my toxic dynamic, I found my passion for dentistry. My dream is to become a dentist and own my practice. With only 3.8% of dentists being black, As a non-traditional, first-generation, minority student of both gender and race with no family help, going to dental school is a daunting endeavor. I am motivated by my experiences and witnessing the suffering and uncertainty brought on by many of my peers who did not have adequate health care or insurance at all. The challenges I faced in my childhood, drive me to serve as an example to young women of color. I plan on using my voice to not only serve as a role model and ambassador for children who deal with alcoholism in their lives but also help my community by offering services to the underprivileged. By fulfilling my dream, I hope to pave the way for other women like me. I aim to prevent black women from accepting societal beliefs that blame our disparities on our environments, associated traumas, and racial, or gender inferiorities and encourage women to learn about their cultural relevance and undermine the biases presented to them. I hope to continue fighting for my community by effectively addressing disparities in the quality of care that requires improved data systems, increased regulatory vigilance, and recruiting more students from disadvantaged minority backgrounds.
      Dynamic Edge Women in STEM Scholarship
      I plan to be a dentist. Health care is the predominant concern and challenge for too many Americans. I grew up in Houston, Texas. As a child growing up I witnessed a lot of suffering and uncertainty brought on by many of my peers who did not have adequate health care or any insurance at all. The stress of not wanting to fall sick because it would mean giving up time to work or swapping one need to cover a more pressing one was palpable. Some people think it is very peculiar that from a young age I wanted to be a dentist. But unlike most kids who abhorred going to the dentist, I had a positive experience. My dentist was nice, caring and provided a nurturing environment. I decided I wanted to do what she did-to provide a place where children could feel safe while getting the care they need. Many of the families in my neighborhood speak Spanish. Houston is a bilingual city. This spurred my interest in learning Spanish. If I want to help the less privileged in my community I have to be able to speak their language. This is why I took an interest in learning the language five years ago. For my graduation present, my tutor, who resides in Bogota, Columbia, and who had tutored me for the prior three years, invited me to spend a month with his family in Columbia. It remains one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did my Spanish speaking skills exponentially improve, the time spent in Bogota reinforced my desire to help people as I have been helped. My dream is to one day help my community by offering services to the underprivileged. This is why I have worked cohesively with people from different backgrounds. Being bilingual has been an important tool in bridging communication at school and at work. Being able to speak two languages means that I approach life from a multi cultural lens. I am able to relate to problems from different perspectives which I ironically usually gives me broader path to achieving my goals. My aunt is a public health professional. She has travelled all over the world working with diseases and pandemic challenges. While she was working with an HIV program in Uganda, I was privileged to spend the summer with her. Rural life in Mbarara was truly a unique experience. The simplicity of life coupled with lacking basic necessities made me appreciate all I had when I got back to the United States. The lesson that stuck with me from that summer visit is to be like my aunt. Being able to make an impact on the lives of the people that don’t have the access or ability to do so themselves is my motivation. It is no surprise that my favorite technological invention in the last 10 years is the technology employed to create the MRNA vaccines that has helped the world combat COVID-19. The MRNA vaccines are different from other vaccines in that they do not put a weaker virus in our body, but instead they teacher our cells to make the protein that triggers the immune response to fight the virus. This technology has led to fast pacing of vaccine manufacturing in a streamline manner that had been essential to global fight to quell the devastation of Covid.