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Francesca Kama

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Finalist

Bio

My name is Francesca Kama. I am a Political Science major, a Women and Gender Studies, and a History minor at Quinnipiac university. I am an international student from France. I also have an Ivoirian nationality from Africa and a British nationality. My passion is based on my multicultural background, which stresses the importance of equity and strives for diversity. My life goal is to work in an organization like the United Nations so I can find sustaining solutions to issues, such as the refugee crisis, which is a significant cause for me. I have spent my summers with War Refugees in both urban settings and refugee camps in Greece, Switzerland, and France. These experiences have exposed facets of the world and of myself that have changed me forever. I worked on the ground and helped them, but I want to be part of an organization that contributes to finding real solutions and helping solve this crisis. I believe that what is required are sustainable and scalable solutions and policies which focus on changing the narrative and creating systemic ways of harnessing refugee talent via training and employment. I want to continue my education towards a Ph.D. to research colonial legacies, especially in Africa in ex-French Colonies, as there is a lack of study on the matter. I want to be able to create that knowledge. I would be a great candidate for the available scholarships as I am a very hard worker and devoted to what I study. I want to make a change in the world. However, I cannot do it by myself, and I need help to finance my education to be able to do it.

Education

Quinnipiac University

Bachelor's degree program
2020 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Political Science and Government
  • Minors:
    • History
    • Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies, Other

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Research

    • Dream career goals:

      United Nations

    • Intern Within the Department of Women and Gender Studies

      Quinnipiac University
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Peer Catalyst

      Quinnipiac University
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Assistant at the Language Access Program

      Office of Human Rights
      2022 – 20231 year
    • Children Care Taker

      Self Employed
      2015 – 20238 years
    • Tutor in English and French

      Self-Employed
      2015 – Present9 years
    • Assistant to "animal contact" therapist

      Vivre A Plein Temps
      2016 – 20182 years
    • Reception and Administration support

      Westwood Country Club
      2018 – 2018
    • Customer service support representative

      Redfair
      2017 – 2017
    • Intern

      Western Union
      2016 – 2016

    Sports

    Equestrian

    Club
    2010 – 20188 years

    Dancing

    Club
    2008 – 20146 years

    Tennis

    Club
    2011 – 20154 years

    Research

    • History and Political Science

      Researcher
      2022 – Present

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Ashoka — teacher
      2018 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Croix Rouge — Helper
      2016 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      The Home Project, the Hope School — Teacher
      2016 – 2018

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    Entrepreneurship

    Walking In Authority International Ministry Scholarship
    The refugee crisis in the Middle East and South Asia is a pressing global issue that I consider the most important today. I have been profoundly impacted by my experiences working with war refugees in Greece, Switzerland, and France over the past five years. Witnessing the hardships and mistreatment, these individuals endure while fleeing war and terror has opened my eyes to their resilience and potential. They do not seek pity; they simply want to rebuild their lives with dignity. Recognizing that this crisis is predicted to worsen in the coming decades due to conflicts and environmental disasters, I firmly believe that the narrative must change, and innovative, win-win solutions must be explored and implemented. My initial encounter with refugees was at Skaramangas Camp, an abandoned port near Athens. Over six thousand refugees, primarily from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, resided in renovated containers. Despite my initial doubts about being able to contribute, I dedicated myself to working full-time at the Hope School, a makeshift educational facility run by the refugees themselves. This experience proved transformative as I witnessed how refugees can be integral to effective and practical solutions. It became evident that we share more similarities than I had imagined. I formed close bonds with the school staff and camp residents, sharing sweet tea with a warm Afghan family who embraced me as one of their own and swimming with children from diverse backgrounds who used plastic bottles as makeshift buoys. Each evening, I visited an elderly Kurdish grandmother who taught me valuable lessons despite our language barrier. Throughout that summer, I developed meaningful friendships, hearing their personal stories of hardship and their aspirations for the future. While many dreamed of reuniting with loved ones in Europe or America, they were trapped in a militarized camp, their passports rendered virtually worthless, unable to move forward or return home. These remarkable individuals motivated me to improve their circumstances, seeking long-lasting solutions. Although international aid is helpful, it falls short of providing sustainable outcomes. Therefore, alongside humanity, compassion, and financial contributions, I firmly believe in the necessity of pragmatic approaches. Refugees long for opportunities to work, earn a living, and contribute fully to the economies of their host countries. Therefore, I advocate for sustainable and scalable policies that shift the narrative and establish systemic means of harnessing refugee talent through training and employment. This approach creates pathways for refugees to rebuild their lives and thrive within their new communities. By prioritizing solutions that empower refugees and facilitate their integration into society, we can foster self-sufficiency, reduce dependency on aid, and transform their lives for the better. Through concerted efforts, we can achieve impactful change and provide hope for those affected by the refugee crisis. As a young 22-year-old woman, I actively share refugee stories, crowdfund legal fees, and raise awareness. However, I aspire to contribute more significantly by studying colonial legacies and obtaining a Ph.D. in order to address current challenges and prepare for the future. I want to do much more. I aspire to be part of bigger solutions that can help address the now but which could help humanity be ready for a future when people’s movement only grows.
    Lauren Czebatul Scholarship
    The refugee crisis in the Middle East and South Asia is a pressing global issue that I consider the most important today. I have been profoundly impacted by my experiences working with war refugees in Greece, Switzerland, and France over the past five years. Witnessing the hardships and mistreatment, these individuals endure while fleeing war and terror has opened my eyes to their resilience and potential. They do not seek pity; they simply want to rebuild their lives with dignity. Recognizing that this crisis is predicted to worsen in the coming decades due to conflicts and environmental disasters, I firmly believe that the narrative must change, and innovative, win-win solutions must be explored and implemented. My initial encounter with refugees was at Skaramangas Camp, an abandoned port near Athens. Over six thousand refugees, primarily from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, resided in renovated containers. Despite my initial doubts about being able to contribute, I dedicated myself to working full-time at the Hope School, a makeshift educational facility run by the refugees themselves. This experience proved transformative as I witnessed how refugees can be integral to effective and practical solutions. It became evident that we share more similarities than I had imagined. I formed close bonds with the school staff and camp residents, sharing sweet tea with a warm Afghan family who embraced me as one of their own and swimming with children from diverse backgrounds who used plastic bottles as makeshift buoys. Each evening, I visited an elderly Kurdish grandmother who taught me valuable lessons despite our language barrier. Throughout that summer, I developed meaningful friendships, hearing their personal stories of hardship and their aspirations for the future. While many dreamed of reuniting with loved ones in Europe or America, they were trapped in a militarized camp, their passports rendered virtually worthless, unable to move forward or return home. These remarkable individuals motivated me to improve their circumstances, seeking long-lasting solutions. Although international aid is helpful, it falls short of providing sustainable outcomes. Therefore, alongside humanity, compassion, and financial contributions, I firmly believe in the necessity of pragmatic approaches. Refugees long for opportunities to work, earn a living, and contribute fully to the economies of their host countries. Therefore, I advocate for sustainable and scalable policies that shift the narrative and establish systemic means of harnessing refugee talent through training and employment. This approach creates pathways for refugees to rebuild their lives and thrive within their new communities. By prioritizing solutions that empower refugees and facilitate their integration into society, we can foster self-sufficiency, reduce dependency on aid, and transform their lives for the better. Through concerted efforts, we can achieve impactful change and provide hope for those affected by the refugee crisis. As a young 22 year-old woman, I actively share refugee stories, crowdfund legal fees, and raise awareness. However, I aspire to contribute more significantly by studying colonial legacies and obtaining a Ph.D. in order to address current challenges and prepare for the future. I want to do much more. I aspire to be part of bigger solutions that can help address the now but which could help humanity be ready for a future when people’s movement only grows. Unfortunately, financial constraints prevent me from pursuing further education without assistance. As an international student, the financial burden is particularly high due to limited scholarships. Therefore, I am applying for the Lauren Czebatul Scholarship to fulfill my dream of graduate studies and make a meaningful impact in this field.
    Rose Ifebigh Memorial Scholarship
    I am an international student from France and the Cote D’Ivoire. I come from a family of great contrasts, which always stressed the importance of diversity and inclusion. My paternal grandfather was born in a tribal village in the Ivory Coast. He was identified by the French government in the late 1940s to be a ‘high potential’ young boy and was groomed for years to be a Supreme Court judge post-colonial times. My paternal French grandmother was raised in Normandy by a divorced feminist who braved the judgments of the time by marrying a black man. On the other hand, my maternal grandfather was born in a village in the Italian Alps, and despite his humble beginnings, he later became a renowned international businessman working in emerging markets in South America. While my maternal grandmother was born in Scotland during the Great War, and after a youth dogged by tragedy, she dedicated her life to making children happy through teaching in diverse communities. This family history has shaped the way I see the world and my aspirations for social justice. This is how my love for history and my dream to help care for constructive international relations was born. It helped me develop my point of view through different perspectives and deepen my knowledge of the world. My upbringing sparked an insatiable interest in the problems of today’s world and in trying to find solutions. Arriving in the United States and starting my college life was very challenging. Since I could not get my student visa to attend my first semester at Quinnipiac in the Fall of 2020 because of Covid-19, due to the fact that the Paris American embassy was closed. I spent my first semester at home in France, with a 6 hours time difference by myself. I missed all the orientation to meet the other first-year students. When I finally arrived at Quinnipiac in the spring of 2021, I felt very alone, and it was a very challenging time for me personally and academically. I was struggling to adapt to my new life. It took time before I was able to find my “people” and start thriving at University. I have a younger brother who came to Quinnipiac University after me, and I wanted to make sure that he never had to go through the experiences I went through. I did not want him to struggle as I did. I knew this could be a challenging time for him, and I wanted to ensure he had all the support he needed to succeed. I became his unofficial mentor, and I was able to give him all the support and help he needed to navigate the difficulties of the university. I listened to his concerns and provided guidance and advice based on my own experiences. I assisted with his transition to an American college, how to excel in his classes, where to find all the resources he needed, how to find his “people” as well, and how to join the soccer team because it was his passion. Through my encouragement, I helped him build a strong foundation for success in college and beyond. Now that he is fully integrated and thriving, I realized that I could continue helping other students through guidance and advice because I recognized I was a supportive leader and could have a positive impact on others. I want to continue creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment for underrepresented students and consider silenced voices in my future career by focusing on decolonizing histories so indigenous voices can finally be heard.
    Elijah's Helping Hand Scholarship Award
    Struggling with mental health has been a lifelong battle for me, impacting various aspects of my life. I have missed out on opportunities due to lacking the strength to participate, lost friendships by concealing my struggles, and even failed classes in high school, necessitating a repeat year due to excessive absences. Depression, anxiety, and eating disorders have all contributed to my challenges. However, I am finally on the path to recovery, thanks to the invaluable support of my therapist, whom I meet weekly. My primary focus now is on my well-being and cultivating optimism. Ironically, despite having everything I could dream of—a loving family, amazing friends, extensive travel experiences, the privilege of studying at an American university, pursuing a passion-driven career, good health, and abundant love—I often found myself feeling miserable. This unexplainable sadness deep within my soul manifested as an indescribable emptiness, a void I could not fill, no matter how hard I tried. Recognizing the need for healthy coping mechanisms, I embarked on a journey to find solace. I initially turned to food, resulting in rapid weight gain and subsequent guilt. Consequently, I developed an eating disorder, rapidly shedding the weight while mistakenly being perceived as healthy. This unhealthy cycle eventually forced me to confront my issues and overcome the disorder. To distract myself from the void, I immersed myself in my studies, focusing on a subject I truly adored—international relations. Engaging in academic pursuits not only proved beneficial for my mental health but also prevented me from relapsing into destructive habits. As I delved deeper into my studies, research, and learning, I discovered a sense of fulfillment and passion contributing to my healing. This routine allowed me to progress gradually and constructively. Loneliness also plagued me, preventing me from confiding in my friends and family, as it felt irrational to express constant sadness for no apparent reason. Moreover, I did not want to burden them with my emotions, believing their concerns should be directed toward more critical matters. Consequently, I wore a facade of joy and contentment, concealing my genuine emotions from those around me. In retrospect, this was one of my most significant mistakes. However, as soon as I began opening up about my struggles, I experienced a remarkable shift. My support and understanding from loved ones made me feel better and less alone. I was no longer fighting in solitude. Overcoming mental health issues is an arduous journey that requires three crucial steps. Firstly, one must acknowledge that they are not okay. Secondly, they need to muster the courage to ask for help, a feat often incredibly challenging. Finally, personal work becomes essential to make progress, even though it can be draining and uncomfortable. At one point, I believed I would remain trapped in a life of sadness and isolation. However, as soon as I sought assistance, everything changed. I began seeing a therapist, which allowed me to get better and understand what was wrong with me drastically. I began finding joy in the little things, regained the desire to explore the world, and embraced social interactions with friends. Sharing my feelings became less daunting, and I gradually shed the weight of my burdens. Life regained meaning and purpose, no longer a mere passage of time until my eventual demise. I developed a newfound zest for life, determined not to squander any more precious moments. Although much work is still ahead, I am steadily improving, inching closer to a better version of myself. I emerged stronger. Now, I use my experience to uplift others. I embody the saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
    Wellness Warriors Scholarship
    Struggling with mental health has been a lifelong battle for me, impacting various aspects of my life. I have missed out on opportunities due to lacking the strength to participate, lost friendships by concealing my struggles, and even failed classes in high school, necessitating a repeat year due to excessive absences. Depression, anxiety, and eating disorders have all contributed to my challenges. However, I am finally on the path to recovery, thanks to the invaluable support of my therapist, whom I meet weekly. My primary focus now is on my well-being and cultivating optimism. Ironically, despite having everything I could dream of—a loving family, amazing friends, extensive travel experiences, the privilege of studying at an American university, pursuing a passion-driven career, good health, and abundant love—I often found myself feeling miserable. This unexplainable sadness deep within my soul manifested as an indescribable emptiness, a void I could not fill, no matter how hard I tried. Recognizing the need for healthy coping mechanisms, I embarked on a journey to find solace. I initially turned to food, resulting in rapid weight gain and subsequent guilt. Consequently, I developed an eating disorder, rapidly shedding the weight while mistakenly being perceived as healthy. This unhealthy cycle eventually forced me to confront my issues and overcome the disorder. To distract myself from the void, I immersed myself in my studies, focusing on a subject I truly adored—international relations. Engaging in academic pursuits not only proved beneficial for my mental health but also prevented me from relapsing into destructive habits. As I delved deeper into my studies, research, and learning, I discovered a sense of fulfillment and passion contributing to my healing. This routine allowed me to progress gradually and constructively. Loneliness also plagued me, preventing me from confiding in my friends and family, as it felt irrational to express constant sadness for no apparent reason. Moreover, I did not want to burden them with my emotions, believing their concerns should be directed toward more critical matters. Consequently, I wore a facade of joy and contentment, concealing my genuine emotions from those around me. In retrospect, this was one of my most significant mistakes. However, as soon as I began opening up about my struggles, I experienced a remarkable shift. My support and understanding from loved ones made me feel better and less alone. I was no longer fighting in solitude. Overcoming mental health issues is an arduous journey that requires three crucial steps. Firstly, one must acknowledge that they are not okay. Secondly, they need to muster the courage to ask for help, a feat often incredibly challenging. Finally, personal work becomes essential to make progress, even though it can be draining and uncomfortable. At one point, I believed I would remain trapped in a life of sadness and isolation. However, as soon as I sought assistance, everything changed. I began seeing a therapist, which allowed me to get better and understand what was wrong with me drastically. I began finding joy in the little things, regained the desire to explore the world, and embraced social interactions with friends. Sharing my feelings became less daunting, and I gradually shed the weight of my burdens. Life regained meaning and purpose, no longer a mere passage of time until my eventual demise. I developed a newfound zest for life, determined not to squander any more precious moments. Although much work is still ahead, I am steadily improving, inching closer to a better version of myself. I emerged stronger. Now, I use my experience to uplift others. I embody the saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
    Xavier M. Monroe Heart of Gold Memorial Scholarship
    Struggling with mental health has been a lifelong battle for me, impacting various aspects of my life. I have missed out on opportunities due to lacking the strength to participate, lost friendships by concealing my struggles, and even failed classes in high school, necessitating a repeat year due to excessive absences. Depression, anxiety, and eating disorders have all contributed to my challenges. However, I am finally on the path to recovery, thanks to the invaluable support of my therapist, whom I meet weekly. My primary focus now is on my well-being and cultivating optimism. Ironically, despite having everything I could dream of—a loving family, amazing friends, extensive travel experiences, the privilege of studying at an American university, pursuing a passion-driven career, good health, and abundant love—I often found myself feeling miserable. This unexplainable sadness deep within my soul manifested as an indescribable emptiness, a void I could not fill, no matter how hard I tried. Recognizing the need for healthy coping mechanisms, I embarked on a journey to find solace. I initially turned to food, resulting in rapid weight gain and subsequent guilt. Consequently, I developed an eating disorder, rapidly shedding the weight while mistakenly being perceived as healthy. This unhealthy cycle eventually forced me to confront my issues and overcome the disorder. To distract myself from the void, I immersed myself in my studies, focusing on a subject I truly adored—international relations. Engaging in academic pursuits not only proved beneficial for my mental health but also prevented me from relapsing into destructive habits. As I delved deeper into my studies, research, and learning, I discovered a sense of fulfillment and passion contributing to my healing. This routine allowed me to progress gradually and constructively. Loneliness also plagued me, preventing me from confiding in my friends and family, as it felt irrational to express constant sadness for no apparent reason. Moreover, I did not want to burden them with my emotions, believing their concerns should be directed toward more critical matters. Consequently, I wore a facade of joy and contentment, concealing my genuine emotions from those around me. In retrospect, this was one of my most significant mistakes. However, as soon as I began opening up about my struggles, I experienced a remarkable shift. My support and understanding from loved ones made me feel better and less alone. I was no longer fighting in solitude. Overcoming mental health issues is an arduous journey that requires three crucial steps. Firstly, one must acknowledge that they are not okay. Secondly, they need to muster the courage to ask for help, a feat often incredibly challenging. Finally, personal work becomes essential to make progress, even though it can be draining and uncomfortable. At one point, I believed I would remain trapped in a life of sadness and isolation. However, as soon as I sought assistance, everything changed. I began seeing a therapist, which allowed me to get better and understand what was wrong with me drastically. I began finding joy in the little things, regained the desire to explore the world, and embraced social interactions with friends. Sharing my feelings became less daunting, and I gradually shed the weight of my burdens. Life regained meaning and purpose, no longer a mere passage of time until my eventual demise. I developed a newfound zest for life, determined not to squander any more precious moments. Although much work is still ahead, I am steadily improving, inching closer to a better version of myself. I emerged stronger. Now, I use my experience to uplift others. I embody the saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
    Youth Equine Service Scholarship
    Being an international student who stresses the importance of openness to all differences and strives for diversity did not just come from my own aspirations but a lot more. I come from a family of great contrasts, which always stressed the importance of diversity and love. My paternal grandfather was born in a tribal village in the Ivory Coast. He was identified by the French government in the late ’40s to be a ‘high potential’ young boy and was groomed for years to be a Supreme Court judge post-colonial times. My paternal French grandmother was raised in Normandy by a divorced feminist who braved the racist judgments of the time by marrying a black man. On the other hand, my maternal grandfather was born in a village in the Italian Alps, and despite his humble beginnings and no university degree, he later became a renowned international businessman working in emerging markets in South America. While my maternal grandmother was born in Scotland during the Great War, and after a youth dogged by tragedy, she dedicated her life to making children happy through teaching in diverse communities. This family history has shaped the way I see the world and my aspirations for social justice. During family reunions, I would hear stories about the hardships of their youth, including how political policies and human warmth allowed them to move forward in their lives. But we also had heated discussions on history and current events, which included very different religious and socio-economical perspectives. This allowed me to be open to sometimes opposite views in order to really understand and address a situation. This is how my love for history and my dream to help care for constructive international relations was born. It helped me develop my point of view through different perspectives and deepen my knowledge of the world. The fact that I have the ability to speak multiple languages, French, English, and Spanish, allows me to connect with different communities in their own native language without having the barriers of translations. My upbringing, as well as the extensive traveling I was lucky to enjoy, sparked an insatiable interest in the problems of today’s world. I strove to be involved and to try to find solutions. Over the last couple of years, I have spent part of my summers with War Refugees in both urban settings and refugee camps in Greece, Switzerland, and France. These experiences have exposed facets of the world and of myself that have changed me forever. As they genuinely made me realize the situation of the world nowadays, how complex and how devastating it really is. I was given the opportunity to volunteer at a beautiful makeshift school on Skaramangas Camp north of Athens, the Hope School, which was run with pride by the refugees themselves. This was a transformational experience because I witnessed firsthand how refugees can be part of practical solutions. The global refugee crisis is very dear to my heart, not only because I’ve been close to it but also because it is misunderstood and often misrepresented. And if the narrative does not change and if new, more sustainable solutions are not put in place, the refugee crisis will be an even bigger issue in the third millennium.
    STAR Scholarship - Students Taking Alternative Routes
    Being an international student who stresses the importance of openness to all differences and strives for diversity did not just come from my own aspirations but a lot more. I come from a family of great contrasts, which always stressed the importance of diversity and love. My paternal grandfather was born in a tribal village in the Ivory Coast. He was identified by the French government in the late ’40s to be a ‘high potential’ young boy and was groomed for years to be a Supreme Court judge post-colonial times. My paternal French grandmother was raised in Normandy by a divorced feminist who braved the racist judgments of the time by marrying a black man. On the other hand, my maternal grandfather was born in a village in the Italian Alps, and despite his humble beginnings and no university degree, he later became a renowned international businessman working in emerging markets in South America. While my maternal grandmother was born in Scotland during the Great War, and after a youth dogged by tragedy, she dedicated her life to making children happy through teaching in diverse communities. This family history has shaped the way I see the world and my aspirations for social justice. During family reunions, I would hear stories about the hardships of their youth, including how political policies and human warmth allowed them to move forward in their lives. But we also had heated discussions on history and current events, which included very different religious and socio-economical perspectives. This allowed me to be open to sometimes opposite views in order to really understand and address a situation. This is how my love for history and my dream to help care for constructive international relations was born. It helped me develop my point of view through different perspectives and deepen my knowledge of the world. The fact that I have the ability to speak multiple languages, French, English, and Spanish, allows me to connect with different communities in their own native language without having the barriers of translations. My upbringing, as well as the extensive traveling I was lucky to enjoy, sparked an insatiable interest in the problems of today’s world. I strove to be involved and to try to find solutions. Over the last couple of years, I have spent part of my summers with War Refugees in both urban settings and refugee camps in Greece, Switzerland, and France. These experiences have exposed facets of the world and of myself that have changed me forever. As they genuinely made me realize the situation of the world nowadays, how complex and how devastating it really is. I was given the opportunity to volunteer at a beautiful makeshift school on Skaramangas Camp north of Athens, the Hope School, which was run with pride by the refugees themselves. This was a transformational experience because I witnessed firsthand how refugees can be part of practical solutions. The global refugee crisis is very dear to my heart, not only because I’ve been close to it but also because it is misunderstood and often misrepresented. And if the narrative does not change and if new, more sustainable solutions are not put in place, the refugee crisis will be an even bigger issue in the third millennium. Working in the United Nations would allow me to find those solutions and make an actual impact. I would want to have a PhD first, so I can become an expert in the field.
    CATALYSTS Scholarship
    Being an international student who stresses the importance of openness to all differences and strives for diversity did not just come from my own aspirations but a lot more. I come from a family of great contrasts, which always stressed the importance of diversity and love. My paternal grandfather was born in a tribal village in the Ivory Coast. He was identified by the French government in the late ’40s to be a ‘high potential’ young boy and was groomed for years to be a Supreme Court judge post-colonial times. My paternal French grandmother was raised in Normandy by a divorced feminist who braved the racist judgments of the time by marrying a black man. On the other hand, my maternal grandfather was born in a village in the Italian Alps, and despite his humble beginnings and no university degree, he later became a renowned international businessman working in emerging markets in South America. While my maternal grandmother was born in Scotland during the Great War, and after a youth dogged by tragedy, she dedicated her life to making children happy through teaching in diverse communities. This family history has shaped the way I see the world and my aspirations for social justice. During family reunions, I would hear stories about the hardships of their youth, including how political policies and human warmth allowed them to move forward in their lives. But we also had heated discussions on history and current events, which included very different religious and socio-economical perspectives. This allowed me to be open to sometimes opposite views in order to really understand and address a situation. This is how my love for history and my dream to help care for constructive international relations was born. It helped me develop my point of view through different perspectives and deepen my knowledge of the world. The fact that I have the ability to speak multiple languages, French, English, and Spanish, allows me to connect with different communities in their own native language without having the barriers of translations. My upbringing, as well as the extensive traveling I was lucky to enjoy, sparked an insatiable interest in the problems of today’s world. I strove to be involved and to try to find solutions. Over the last couple of years, I have spent part of my summers with War Refugees in both urban settings and refugee camps in Greece, Switzerland, and France. These experiences have exposed facets of the world and of myself that have changed me forever. As they genuinely made me realize the situation of the world nowadays, how complex and how devastating it really is. I was given the opportunity to volunteer at a beautiful makeshift school on Skaramangas Camp north of Athens, the Hope School, which was run with pride by the refugees themselves. This was a transformational experience because I witnessed firsthand how refugees can be part of practical solutions. The global refugee crisis is very dear to my heart, not only because I’ve been close to it but also because it is misunderstood and often misrepresented. And if the narrative does not change and if new, more sustainable solutions are not put in place, the refugee crisis will be an even bigger issue in the third millennium.
    Dema Dimbaya Humanitarianism and Disaster Relief Scholarship
    Being an international student who stresses the importance of openness to all differences and strives for diversity did not just come from my own aspirations but a lot more. I come from a family of great contrasts, which always stressed the importance of diversity and love. My paternal grandfather was born in a tribal village in the Ivory Coast. He was identified by the French government in the late ’40s to be a ‘high potential’ young boy and was groomed for years to be a Supreme Court judge post-colonial times. My paternal French grandmother was raised in Normandy by a divorced feminist who braved the racist judgments of the time by marrying a black man. On the other hand, my maternal grandfather was born in a village in the Italian Alps, and despite his humble beginnings and no university degree, he later became a renowned international businessman working in emerging markets in South America. While my maternal grandmother was born in Scotland during the Great War, and after a youth dogged by tragedy, she dedicated her life to making children happy through teaching in diverse communities. This family history has shaped the way I see the world and my aspirations for social justice. During family reunions, I would hear stories about the hardships of their youth, including how political policies and human warmth allowed them to move forward in their lives. But we also had heated discussions on history and current events, which included very different religious and socio-economical perspectives. This allowed me to be open to sometimes opposite views in order to really understand and address a situation. This is how my love for history and my dream to help care for constructive international relations was born. It helped me develop my point of view through different perspectives and deepen my knowledge of the world. The fact that I have the ability to speak multiple languages, French, English, and Spanish, allows me to connect with different communities in their own native language without having the barriers of translations. My upbringing, as well as the extensive traveling I was lucky to enjoy, sparked an insatiable interest in the problems of today’s world. I strove to be involved and to try to find solutions. Over the last couple of years, I have spent part of my summers with War Refugees in both urban settings and refugee camps in Greece, Switzerland, and France. These experiences have exposed facets of the world and of myself that have changed me forever. As they genuinely made me realize the situation of the world nowadays, how complex and how devastating it really is. I was given the opportunity to volunteer at a beautiful makeshift school on Skaramangas Camp north of Athens, the Hope School, which was run with pride by the refugees themselves. This was a transformational experience because I witnessed firsthand how refugees can be part of practical solutions. The global refugee crisis is very dear to my heart, not only because I’ve been close to it but also because it is misunderstood and often misrepresented. And if the narrative does not change and if new, more sustainable solutions are not put in place, the refugee crisis will be an even bigger issue in the third millennium.
    Jeannine Schroeder Women in Public Service Memorial Scholarship
    Being an international student who stresses the importance of openness to all differences and strives for diversity did not just come from my own aspirations but a lot more. I come from a family of great contrasts, which always stressed the importance of diversity and love. My paternal grandfather was born in a tribal village in the Ivory Coast. He was identified by the French government in the late ’40s to be a ‘high potential’ young boy and was groomed for years to be a Supreme Court judge post-colonial times. My paternal French grandmother was raised in Normandy by a divorced feminist who braved the racist judgments of the time by marrying a black man. On the other hand, my maternal grandfather was born in a village in the Italian Alps, and despite his humble beginnings and no university degree, he later became a renowned international businessman working in emerging markets in South America. While my maternal grandmother was born in Scotland during the Great War, and after a youth dogged by tragedy, she dedicated her life to making children happy through teaching in diverse communities. This family history has shaped the way I see the world and my aspirations for social justice. During family reunions, I would hear stories about the hardships of their youth, including how political policies and human warmth allowed them to move forward in their lives. But we also had heated discussions on history and current events, which included very different religious and socio-economical perspectives. This allowed me to be open to sometimes opposite views in order to really understand and address a situation. This is how my love for history and my dream to help care for constructive international relations was born. It helped me develop my point of view through different perspectives and deepen my knowledge of the world. The fact that I have the ability to speak multiple languages, French, English, and Spanish, allows me to connect with different communities in their own native language without having the barriers of translations. My upbringing, as well as the extensive traveling I was lucky to enjoy, sparked an insatiable interest in the problems of today’s world. I strove to be involved and to try to find solutions. Over the last couple of years, I have spent part of my summers with War Refugees in both urban settings and refugee camps in Greece, Switzerland, and France. These experiences have exposed facets of the world and of myself that have changed me forever. As they genuinely made me realize the situation of the world nowadays, how complex and how devastating it really is. I was given the opportunity to volunteer at a beautiful makeshift school on Skaramangas Camp north of Athens, the Hope School, which was run with pride by the refugees themselves. This was a transformational experience because I witnessed firsthand how refugees can be part of practical solutions. The global refugee crisis is very dear to my heart, not only because I’ve been close to it but also because it is misunderstood and often misrepresented. And if the narrative does not change and if new, more sustainable solutions are not put in place, the refugee crisis will be an even bigger issue in the third millennium.
    Walking In Authority International Ministry Scholarship
    Being an international student who stresses the importance of openness to all differences and strives for diversity did not just come from my own aspirations but a lot more. I come from a family of great contrasts, which always stressed the importance of diversity and love. My paternal grandfather was born in a tribal village in the Ivory Coast. He was identified by the French government in the late ’40s to be a ‘high potential’ young boy and was groomed for years to be a Supreme Court judge post-colonial times. My paternal French grandmother was raised in Normandy by a divorced feminist who braved the racist judgments of the time by marrying a black man. On the other hand, my maternal grandfather was born in a village in the Italian Alps, and despite his humble beginnings and no university degree, he later became a renowned international businessman working in emerging markets in South America. While my maternal grandmother was born in Scotland during the Great War, and after a youth dogged by tragedy, she dedicated her life to making children happy through teaching in diverse communities. This family history has shaped the way I see the world and my aspirations for social justice. During family reunions, I would hear stories about the hardships of their youth, including how political policies and human warmth allowed them to move forward in their lives. But we also had heated discussions on history and current events, which included very different religious and socio-economical perspectives. This allowed me to be open to sometimes opposite views in order to really understand and address a situation. This is how my love for history and my dream to help care for constructive international relations was born. It helped me develop my point of view through different perspectives and deepen my knowledge of the world. The fact that I have the ability to speak multiple languages, French, English, and Spanish, allows me to connect with different communities in their own native language without having the barriers of translations. My upbringing, as well as the extensive traveling I was lucky to enjoy, sparked an insatiable interest in the problems of today’s world. I strove to be involved and to try to find solutions. Over the last couple of years, I have spent part of my summers with War Refugees in both urban settings and refugee camps in Greece, Switzerland, and France. These experiences have exposed facets of the world and of myself that have changed me forever. As they genuinely made me realize the situation of the world nowadays, how complex and how devastating it really is. I was given the opportunity to volunteer at a beautiful makeshift school on Skaramangas Camp north of Athens, the Hope School, which was run with pride by the refugees themselves. This was a transformational experience because I witnessed firsthand how refugees can be part of practical solutions. The global refugee crisis is very dear to my heart, not only because I’ve been close to it but also because it is misunderstood and often misrepresented. And if the narrative does not change and if new, more sustainable solutions are not put in place, the refugee crisis will be an even bigger issue in the third millennium.
    Maverick Grill and Saloon Scholarship
    Being an international student who stresses the importance of openness to all differences and strives for diversity did not just come from my own aspirations but a lot more. I come from a family of great contrasts, which always stressed the importance of diversity and love. My paternal grandfather was born in a tribal village in the Ivory Coast. He was identified by the French government in the late ’40s to be a ‘high potential’ young boy and was groomed for years to be a Supreme Court judge post-colonial times. My paternal French grandmother was raised in Normandy by a divorced feminist who braved the racist judgments of the time by marrying a black man. On the other hand, my maternal grandfather was born in a village in the Italian Alps, and despite his humble beginnings and no university degree, he later became a renowned international businessman working in emerging markets in South America. While my maternal grandmother was born in Scotland during the Great War, and after a youth dogged by tragedy, she dedicated her life to making children happy through teaching in diverse communities. This family history has shaped the way I see the world and my aspirations for social justice. During family reunions, I would hear stories about the hardships of their youth, including how political policies and human warmth allowed them to move forward in their lives. But we also had heated discussions on history and current events, which included very different religious and socio-economical perspectives. This allowed me to be open to sometimes opposite views in order to really understand and address a situation. This is how my love for history and my dream to help care for constructive international relations was born. It helped me develop my point of view through different perspectives and deepen my knowledge of the world. The fact that I have the ability to speak multiple languages, French, English, and Spanish, allows me to connect with different communities in their own native language without having the barriers of translations. My upbringing, as well as the extensive traveling I was lucky to enjoy, sparked an insatiable interest in the problems of today’s world. I strove to be involved and to try to find solutions. Over the last couple of years, I have spent part of my summers with War Refugees in both urban settings and refugee camps in Greece, Switzerland, and France. These experiences have exposed facets of the world and of myself that have changed me forever. As they genuinely made me realize the situation of the world nowadays, how complex and how devastating it really is. I was given the opportunity to volunteer at a beautiful makeshift school on Skaramangas Camp north of Athens, the Hope School, which was run with pride by the refugees themselves. This was a transformational experience because I witnessed firsthand how refugees can be part of practical solutions. The global refugee crisis is very dear to my heart, not only because I’ve been close to it but also because it is misunderstood and often misrepresented. And if the narrative does not change and if new, more sustainable solutions are not put in place, the refugee crisis will be an even bigger issue in the third millennium.
    @Carle100 National Scholarship Month Scholarship
    Ethel Hayes Destigmatization of Mental Health Scholarship
    I have been struggling with my mental health for as long as I can remember. It has genuinely destroyed parts of my life, as I missed out on things because I simply did not have the strength to go; I have lost friendships because I would not let them know what was wrong; I failed classes in high school and had to repeat a year because of how many classes I missed when I could not leave my bed. I suffer from depression and anxiety and also struggle with eating disorders. I am finally getting better and getting the help I need through my wonderful therapist, whom I meet once a week. I am focusing on my happiness and trying to do everything to be optimistic. However, before I arrived in this state, I was miserable when I should have been happy. I have everything I could ever dream of. My parents would do anything for me. I have five siblings who adore me. I have amazing friends. I have traveled all around the world. I am studying at an American university. I am studying something that I absolutely adore. I have a planned career in mind. I am healthy. I am loved. I am so privileged that I sometimes feel guilty and selfish. I always try to give back, help others, and do something for people who are not as lucky as me. There is nothing wrong with my life. So many people would wish they had my life. However, there is this sadness in me, so deep in my soul, and I cannot figure out where it comes from or what is the reason for it. It is a form of emptiness, a void, that I could not seem to fill up no matter what I did or tried. I am still trying to find healthy ways to cope with that. Because I tried to fill that void with food for a few months, I rapidly became overweight and then felt guilty about it. And did the opposite, I developed an eating disorder. I lost weight really fast, and people automatically assumed that I was really healthy. I would not eat, overexercise, or replace meals with water. My body was celebrated when I was in the depths of my eating disorder, yet it was the unhealthiest I had ever been. I managed to overcome that, and I started focusing on my studies to fill that void because I needed the distraction, and it worked. Studying, researching, and learning helped me improve because I was concentrating on something that was not unhealthy and actually helping me. I started loving what I was doing and became passionate about the subject of international relations. It became part of a routine where I could heal slowly. It also did not let me fall back into bad habits. I also felt so lonely. I felt like I could not talk to my friends or family about it because it seemed so ridiculous. There was no reason for me to feel so sad all the time. I also did not want to worry anyone, as there were more important matters than my feelings. So I pretended everything was fine; I put on a mask where I appeared joyful and content. No one could have ever guessed what I genuinely felt; I would not let them. I think that was one of the biggest mistakes I made. As soon as I opened up and talked about my struggles to my friends and family, I started feeling better because I had support. I was fighting by myself anymore. People do not realize how hard it is to overcome mental health issues because, first of all, you need to acknowledge that you are not okay. You need to ask for help, which is so hard to do, and lastly, you need to do personal work to get better, which is so draining and uncomfortable. I honestly thought I would never manage to get better, and I was bound to a really sad and lonely life. However, when I started asking for help, it completely changed me. I started feeling joy in little things again; I wanted to start exploring the world again, I wanted to go out and hang out with my friends, I was not afraid to share my feelings anymore, and I finally felt like this heavyweight was lifted, and I could breathe. I felt free. Life started making sense again. There was a point and a goal to it. I was not just waiting for the time to pass until I eventually died. I wanted to live fully and not waste any more moments. I still have a lot of work to do. But I am getting better. I am improving.
    Mental Health Importance Scholarship
    I believe that mental health is so crucial because I have been struggling with my mental health for as long as I can remember. It has genuinely destroyed parts of my life, as I missed out on things because I simply did not have the strength to go; I have lost friendships because I would not let them know what was wrong; I failed classes in high school and had to repeat a year because of how many classes I missed when I could not leave my bed. I suffer from depression and anxiety and also struggle with eating disorders. I am finally getting better and getting the help I need through my wonderful therapist, whom I meet once a week. I am focusing on my happiness and trying to do everything to be optimistic. However, before I arrived in this state, I was miserable when I should have been happy. I have everything I could ever dream of. My parents would do anything for me. I have five siblings who adore me. I have amazing friends. I have traveled all around the world. I am studying at an American university. I am studying something that I absolutely adore. I have a planned career in mind. I am healthy. I am loved. I am so privileged that I sometimes feel guilty and selfish. I always try to give back, help others, and do something for people who are not as lucky as me. There is nothing wrong with my life. So many people would wish they had my life. However, there is this sadness in me, so deep in my soul, and I cannot figure out where it comes from or what is the reason for it. It is a form of emptiness, a void, that I could not seem to fill up no matter what I did or tried. I am still trying to find healthy ways to cope with that. Because I tried to fill that void with food for a few months, I rapidly became overweight and then felt guilty about it. And did the opposite, I developed an eating disorder. I lost weight really fast, and people automatically assumed that I was really healthy. I would not eat, overexercise, or replace meals with water. My body was celebrated when I was in the depths of my eating disorder, yet it was the unhealthiest I had ever been. I managed to overcome that, and I started focusing on my studies to fill that void because I needed the distraction, and it worked. Studying, researching, and learning helped me improve because I was concentrating on something that was not unhealthy and actually helping me. I started loving what I was doing and became passionate about the subject of international relations. It became part of a routine where I could heal slowly. I also felt so lonely. I felt like I could not talk to my friends or family about it because it seemed so ridiculous. There was no reason for me to feel so sad all the time. I also did not want to worry anyone, as there were more important matters than my feelings. So I pretended everything was fine; I put on a mask where I appeared joyful and content. No one could have ever guessed what I genuinely felt; I would not let them. I think that was one of the biggest mistakes I made. As soon as I opened up and talked about my struggles to my friends and family, I started feeling better because I had support. I was fighting by myself anymore.
    International Student Scholarship
    I am an international student from Europe. I moved from France to the United States by myself to study political science, more specifically international relations, as I wanted a more global point of view that America could offer me. However, arriving in the United States was not as easy as I had planned. I thought that the United States would welcome me with open arms, and I would be able to meet many people that I would not have been able to meet in Europe, such as populations from South America, and I would be able to discover new cultures. However, it did not happen that way. I come from a family of great contrasts that always stressed diversity’s importance. My paternal grandfather was born in a tribal, rural village in Cote D’Ivoire in Africa. He was identified by the French government in the late 1940s as a ‘high potential’ young boy and was groomed for years to be a Supreme Court judge post-colonial times in France and Cote D’Ivoire. My paternal French grandmother was raised in Normandy by a divorced feminist who braved the judgments of the time by marrying a black man. On the other hand, my maternal grandfather was born in a village in the Italian Alps. Despite his humble beginnings, he later became a renowned international businessman working in emerging markets in South America. While my maternal grandmother was born in Scotland during the Great War, and after a youth dogged by tragedy, she dedicated her life to making children happy through teaching in diverse communities worldwide. I thought my background would make me fit right in this melting pot, but I found myself excluded by others because of it, primarily through the label of race. I had never had to question what race I belonged to as the nation of the race was abolished in France. However, I have in the past questioned my identity and wondered how I would be identified with it. Because by simply looking at myself, no one could guess where I am from. I have three nationalities: French, British, and Ivorian, from the Ivory Coast in Africa. My father is black, and my mother is white. I am then considered mixed or bi-racial. Since I am half black, I am considered black in the United States. However, I do not have a race in France, but I physically look not entirely white, I look brown, so people assume that I am mixed, which is the case, but they cannot figure out from exactly where. Depending on where people guess I am from, I was treated very differently because of prejudices, stereotypes, or simply racism. I had never experienced it that way before because here in America, the notion of race is so profound that it is almost used as an excuse or an argument. I realized that even though I was in university, people were not necessarily knowledgeable, and there could still be much ignorance. I had to learn how not to get upset or hurt by what they were saying but rather try to understand where they were coming from and try to educate them on specific subjects. It gave me the determination to want to pursue my education further, so I could later share that knowledge and make the world a better place, which sounds naive, but it is truly my goal. I want to have a positive impact on the world, and I believe that International Relations will allow me to do so. This scholarship would allow me to pursue my studies without a financial stress.
    Ms. Susy’s Disney Character Scholarship
    My favorite Disney character growing up was princess Tiana from the princess and the frog, as she was the first black or at least mixed princess out of the 11 other princesses. It was the first time I saw a princess who looked like me, and I finally felt represented, which was absolutely amazing. I remember being eight years old, going to the cinema to see a movie, and just being so happy and excited. Tiana was absolutely gorgeous, sweet, intelligent, and determined, and she started becoming my role model. I also treasured that her dress was green, as it was my favorite color, and I just thought it was meant to be. I did not realize why I was feeling that way until later when I realized it was the first ever princess who was of African descent. I also loved princess Tiana as she inspired me never to stop believing in my dreams, and with hard work, determination and trust, I would get what I wanted. She also was not a ditzy princess waiting for her prince, she knew she was more capable than any man, and if she wanted to get her restaurant to honor her dad, she would do it by herself. Naveen, the prince, did not even contribute to her restaurant, as he did not have money, and even if he had some, she probably would not have let him. There was the notion of feminism in the movie, which I adored and was different from the usual princess. I was able to see her struggles to keep her month's end meet while saving money and her struggle to go up social classes, which is something that I had never seen in the past. All of the princesses were either already royalty or just happened to meet their prince and live happily after; there was not ever a real fight except for the evil stepmother. Lastly, My mother also used to use Tiana's story and the fact that she and Naveen, the prince, fell in love while they were frogs because beauty is subjective and what matters is on the inside, even though both of them were really ridiculously attractive when they were humans. Personality, intelligence, sense of humor, and character always wins and is the most important.
    Maggie's Way- International Woman’s Scholarship
    I can relate to Malgorzata’s challenges as I am too an international student from Europe. I moved from France to the United States by myself to study political science, more specifically international relations, as I wanted a more global point of view that America could offer me. However, arriving in the United States was not as easy as I had planned. I thought that the United States would welcome me with open arms, and I would be able to meet many people that I would not have been able to meet in Europe, such as populations from South America, and I would be able to discover new cultures. However, it did not happen that way. I come from a family of great contrasts that always stressed diversity’s importance. My paternal grandfather was born in a tribal, rural village in Cote D’Ivoire in Africa. He was identified by the French government in the late 1940s as a ‘high potential’ young boy and was groomed for years to be a Supreme Court judge post-colonial times in France and Cote D’Ivoire. My paternal French grandmother was raised in Normandy by a divorced feminist who braved the judgments of the time by marrying a black man. On the other hand, my maternal grandfather was born in a village in the Italian Alps. Despite his humble beginnings, he later became a renowned international businessman working in emerging markets in South America. While my maternal grandmother was born in Scotland during the Great War, and after a youth dogged by tragedy, she dedicated her life to making children happy through teaching in diverse communities worldwide. I thought my background would make me fit right in this melting pot, but I found myself excluded by others because of it, primarily through the label of race. I had never had to question what race I belonged to as the nation of the race was abolished in France. However, I have in the past questioned my identity and wondered how I would be identified with it. Because by simply looking at myself, no one could guess where I am from. I have three nationalities: French, British, and Ivorian, from the Ivory Coast in Africa. My father is black, and my mother is white. I am then considered mixed or bi-racial. Since I am half black, I am considered black in the United States. However, I do not have a race in France, but I physically look not entirely white, I look brown, so people assume that I am mixed, which is the case, but they cannot figure out from exactly where. Depending on where people guess I am from, I was treated very differently because of prejudices, stereotypes, or simply racism. I had never experienced it that way before because here in America, the notion of race is so profound that it is almost used as an excuse or an argument. I realized that even though I was in university, people were not necessarily knowledgeable, and there could still be much ignorance. I had to learn how not to get upset or hurt by what they were saying but rather try to understand where they were coming from and try to educate them on specific subjects. It gave me the determination to want to pursue my education further, so I could later share that knowledge and make the world a better place, which sounds naive, but it is truly my goal. I want to have a positive impact on the world, and I believe that International Relations will allow me to do so.
    Do Good Scholarship
    The refugee crisis is very important to me, and I have done a lot of humanitarian work to help. I have traveled all over Europe and Africa to help people who were absolutely wrongly treated and deserved so so much more than what I could offer. This is why I want to work in an organization such as the United Nations, so I can continue helping others with long-lasting solutions. My first encounter with Refugees was at Skaramangas Camp, an abandoned port north of Athens, where over six thousand refugees, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, lived in renovated containers. I knew it would be an eye-opening experience, but I was reluctant to go as I wondered how I would be able to add any value. I was going to work full-time in a makeshift school called the Hope School, which was run with pride by the refugees themselves. This was a transformational experience because I witnessed firsthand how refugees can be part of effective and practical solutions. I quickly realized that we all had so much more in common than I had imagined. I became very close with the school’s staff and many of the camp’s inhabitants. I drank sweet tea with a very warm Afghan family who welcomed me like one of their own, as they offered me everything they had despite their situation. I swam in the nearby oily Aegean Sea with children of all origins who used plastic bottles filled with air as their buoys. Every evening I visited an older Kurdish grandmother whose words I did not understand but who taught me so much. Over that summer, I forged friendships with them, as they were eager to share their personal and harsh stories on why they had fled their homes and their hopes for the future. Most of them had plans to join friends or family in Europe or even in America, but they were not authorized to leave the camp, as it was heavily militarized. In addition, their passports were basically worthless. So all the incredible people I met were stuck in no-mans land, not able to go back to their countries and not able to move forward either. These experiences have exposed facets of the world and of myself that have changed me forever. I have witnessed the horrible treatment that these incredible humans have had to face while trying to escape from their counties due to war, terror, and ideological terrorism. I have heard heart-wrenching stories about the sacrifices they made to save their lives and those of their children. I have realized that the people the world refers to as ‘refugees’ represent so much human potential and do not want pity. They just want to be able to restart their lives with dignity. The time I have spent with refugees and reading about this critical topic genuinely made me realize that the refugee situation is truly a crisis especially considering it is predicted to grow significantly in the next two decades due to conflicts and looming environmental disasters. Therefore I believe that the narrative has to change and that more viable, innovative, and win-win solutions must be tested and scaled. All of the wonderful people I met became my motivation to help improve their situation.
    Marie J. Smith Esq. Social Sciences Scholarship
    I want to be able to help others, and my major in political science can help me do that in a bigger way. My parents have always taught me how privileged I was growing up and how lucky I was. I have really interiorized this and have constantly been trying to help others who were not as fortunate as me. I have integrated that through my humanitarian work, especially concerning the refugee crisis. I have traveled all over Europe and Africa to help people who were absolutely wrongly treated and deserved so so much more than what I could offer. This is why I want to work in an organization such as the United Nations, so I can continue helping others with long-lasting solutions. My first encounter with Refugees was at Skaramangas Camp, an abandoned port north of Athens, where over six thousand refugees, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, lived in renovated containers. I knew it would be an eye-opening experience, but I was reluctant to go as I wondered how I would be able to add any value. I was going to work full-time in a makeshift school called the Hope School, which was run with pride by the refugees themselves. This was a transformational experience because I witnessed firsthand how refugees can be part of effective and practical solutions. I quickly realized that we all had so much more in common than I had imagined. I became very close with the school’s staff and many of the camp’s inhabitants. I drank sweet tea with a very warm Afghan family who welcomed me like one of their own, as they offered me everything they had despite their situation. I swam in the nearby oily Aegean Sea with children of all origins who used plastic bottles filled with air as their buoys. Every evening I visited an older Kurdish grandmother whose words I did not understand but who taught me so much. Over that summer, I forged friendships with them, as they were eager to share their personal and harsh stories on why they had fled their homes and their hopes for the future. Most of them had plans to join friends or family in Europe or even in America, but they were not authorized to leave the camp, as it was heavily militarized. In addition, their passports were basically worthless. So all the incredible people I met were stuck in no-mans land, not able to go back to their countries and not able to move forward either. These experiences have exposed facets of the world and of myself that have changed me forever. I have witnessed the horrible treatment that these incredible humans have had to face while trying to escape from their counties due to war, terror, and ideological terrorism. I have heard heart-wrenching stories about the sacrifices they made to save their lives and those of their children. I have realized that the people the world refers to as ‘refugees’ represent so much human potential and do not want pity. They just want to be able to restart their lives with dignity. The time I have spent with refugees and reading about this critical topic genuinely made me realize that the refugee situation is truly a crisis especially considering it is predicted to grow significantly in the next two decades due to conflicts and looming environmental disasters. Therefore I believe that the narrative has to change and that more viable, innovative, and win-win solutions must be tested and scaled. All of the wonderful people I met became my motivation to help improve their situation.
    Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship
    The characteristic I value the most in myself is my want to help others, which might sound really naive, but my parents have always taught me how privileged I was growing up and how lucky I was. I have really interiorized this and have constantly been trying to help others who were not as fortunate as me. I have integrated that through my humanitarian work, especially concerning the refugee crisis. I have traveled all over Europe and Africa to help people who were absolutely wrongly treated and deserved so so much more than what I could offer. This is why I want to work in an organization such as the United Nations, so I can continue helping others with long-lasting solutions. My first encounter with Refugees was at Skaramangas Camp, an abandoned port north of Athens, where over six thousand refugees, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, lived in renovated containers. I knew it would be an eye-opening experience, but I was reluctant to go as I wondered how I would be able to add any value. I was going to work full-time in a makeshift school called the Hope School, which was run with pride by the refugees themselves. This was a transformational experience because I witnessed firsthand how refugees can be part of effective and practical solutions. I quickly realized that we all had so much more in common than I had imagined. I became very close with the school’s staff and many of the camp’s inhabitants. I drank sweet tea with a very warm Afghan family who welcomed me like one of their own, as they offered me everything they had despite their situation. I swam in the nearby oily Aegean Sea with children of all origins who used plastic bottles filled with air as their buoys. Every evening I visited an older Kurdish grandmother whose words I did not understand but who taught me so much. Over that summer, I forged friendships with them, as they were eager to share their personal and harsh stories on why they had fled their homes and their hopes for the future. Most of them had plans to join friends or family in Europe or even in America, but they were not authorized to leave the camp, as it was heavily militarized. In addition, their passports were basically worthless. So all the incredible people I met were stuck in no-mans land, not able to go back to their countries and not able to move forward either. These experiences have exposed facets of the world and of myself that have changed me forever. I have witnessed the horrible treatment that these incredible humans have had to face while trying to escape from their counties due to war, terror, and ideological terrorism. I have heard heart-wrenching stories about the sacrifices they made to save their lives and those of their children. I have realized that the people the world refers to as ‘refugees’ represent so much human potential and do not want pity. They just want to be able to restart their lives with dignity. The time I have spent with refugees and reading about this critical topic genuinely made me realize that the refugee situation is truly a crisis especially considering it is predicted to grow significantly in the next two decades due to conflicts and looming environmental disasters. Therefore I believe that the narrative has to change and that more viable, innovative, and win-win solutions must be tested and scaled. All of the wonderful people I met became my motivation to help improve their situation.
    Manuela Calles Scholarship for Women