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Freya Ngo

2055

Bold Points

2x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

I am currently an undergraduate student at Brown University, concentrating in Economics (Public Policy track) and International and Public Affairs (Development track). My interest lies in analyzing cases of political oppression and socioeconomic inequalities to help create a legal framework and economic policies to promote human rights. From my internships, investigative journalism, nonprofit leadership, and undergraduate coursework, I have expanded my knowledge of global humanitarian challenges and inequalities facing underprivileged communities. I plan to attend law school to gain the necessary practical skills and knowledge to effectively navigate legal systems and policies to advocate for human rights and social justice. As a lawyer specializing in international and comparative law and human rights, I will be able to analyze complex legal and policy issues and shape policies and laws that address global systemic issues and promote the rights of marginalized groups. I hope to help shape the discourse and policies around human rights, build solidarity among different communities, bring attention to marginalized voices, and create meaningful change that protects and promotes human rights.

Education

Brown University

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Economics
    • International/Globalization Studies

Charles A Lindbergh High School

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Political Science and Government
    • Economics
    • Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs, Other
    • Law
    • Legal Professions and Studies, Other
    • Public Policy Analysis
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Law Practice

    • Dream career goals:

      Human Rights Law

    • News Editor

      LoveJustice
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Legislative Analyst

      NoSchoolViolence
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Writer and Journalist Intern

      The Borgen Project
      2023 – Present1 year
    • Investigative Journalist

      Egalitarian Newspaper
      2021 – 20221 year
    • Research and Infographics

      NPH USA
      2021 – 2021

    Research

    • Sex Trafficking and Gender Rights

      Independent Study — Economics and Public Policy Researcher
      2021 – 2022

    Public services

    • Public Service (Politics)

      Helping Link — Youth Tutor; Program Support; Volunteer Recruitment
      2021 – 2022
    • Advocacy

      LHS Asian Student Union — Co-Founder; President
      2021 – 2022
    • Advocacy

      Egalitarian Newspaper — Investigative Journalist
      2021 – 2022
    • Public Service (Politics)

      StopTortureRI — Lobbying; Social Media Chair; Co-President (in the fall)
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Eagles Crew — Mentor
      2021 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      LHS Knitting Club — Knitter
      2018 – 2022
    • Volunteering

      College Possible WA — Translator
      2021 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      City of Renton — Volunteer
      2018 – 2022
    • Advocacy

      LHS Girls Who Code — Co-Founder; Social Media Chair; Treasurer.
      2021 – 2022

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Philanthropy

    International Studies Scholarship
    The study of other cultures and nations offers a profound opportunity for self-reflection and understanding. As we delve into the rich tapestry of transnational studies, we unravel the threads that connect us all as human beings. In the United States, embracing global exploration carries immense value, broadening our perspectives, fostering empathy, and igniting a sense of collective responsibility. Exploring the transformative power of cross-cultural engagement provides invaluable cultural and social contributions to the United States. Cross-cultural and intercontinental analysis provides a mirror through which we can reflect upon our own identity. By comparing and contrasting different societal norms, values, and traditions, we gain a deeper understanding of our cultural fabric, which enables us to critically examine our assumptions and biases, challenge preconceived notions, and broaden our perspectives. Through this process of self-reflection, we become more aware of our strengths, weaknesses, and areas for growth, ultimately fostering political, economic, and societal development. International studies cultivate empathy and understanding, essential qualities in an interconnected world. By engaging with diverse cultures, we learn to appreciate the shared aspirations and challenges humanity faces. Empathy allows us to dismantle stereotypes, bridge divides, and foster inclusive communities. By understanding the experiences and perspectives of different global communities, we become more equipped to tackle global challenges collaboratively and with compassion. Global exploration nurtures global citizenship, promoting collective responsibility and interconnectedness. As we explore different cultures and nations, we can recognize that our actions reverberate across borders and impact lives beyond our immediate surroundings. This realization instills a sense of duty toward promoting justice, human rights, and sustainability worldwide. By embracing cross-border exploration, the United States can actively contribute to fostering a more equitable and harmonious global community. Global inquiry further enhances the United States' diplomatic efforts and strengthens international collaboration. Engaging with other cultures and nations builds mutual respect, trust, and cooperation, paving the way for diplomatic negotiations and collaborative problem-solving. The United States can leverage its understanding of diverse cultures to foster stronger relationships with allies and engage in effective diplomacy, promoting peace, stability, and mutual prosperity. The value of global studies fuels innovation and adaptability, essential components of a thriving nation. Exposure to diverse cultures fosters creativity by revealing alternative perspectives, problem-solving methods, and cultural practices, enabling innovative thinking and adaptive approaches to difficulties. In an increasingly interconnected and rapidly changing world, the United States can harness the insights gained from global exploration to drive economic growth, enhance competitiveness, and spur technological advancements. The study of foreign cultures and nations gives us a window into our shared humanity. It fosters self-reflection, empathy, and a sense of collective responsibility. For the United States, embracing global exploration offers immeasurable value, from broadening our perspectives and nurturing global citizenship to fueling innovation and strengthening diplomacy. By engaging with the world, the United States can contribute to a more compassionate, interconnected, and prosperous international community. As we embark on this journey of self-discovery and global understanding, let us recognize the transformative power of embracing different cultures and nations. Through global exploration, we not only uncover the world's mysteries but also gain invaluable insights into ourselves, our country, and our place in an interconnected global society.
    Robert F. Lawson Fund for Careers that Care
    I plan to use my education in law to make a positive impact on the world by advocating for human rights and addressing systemic issues that perpetuate injustice. A few inches from my house were rotting roadkills, piles of trash, and homeless people. Driving down the road, I often saw vendors straddling their carts around the block and vagrants begging on the street to provide for their families. Vietnam's lack of adequate social welfare programs produced vast pockets of poverty. Witnessing poverty firsthand at a young age shaped my commitment to social justice and human rights. I recognize the importance of understanding cultural nuances and the perspectives of vulnerable communities. Reflecting on my childhood experiences in Vietnam helps me better comprehend the challenges faced by marginalized groups and informs my approach to addressing human rights issues. I aim to be culturally sensitive and identify the most effective ways to make a positive impact by working closely with communities and amplifying their voices. To translate my passion for human rights into action, I am utilizing my undergraduate education to analyze the framework for identifying human rights abuses and social injustice, understanding their consequences, and developing solutions to tackle these challenges. I am pursuing interdisciplinary studies that explore the intersection of human rights and global health, examining how cultural and social factors shape health policies and human development. By studying the role of international organizations in coordinating human rights policies and the impacts of global socioeconomic inequality, I aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex nature of promoting human rights and designing effective policies. In addition to my academic pursuits, I am actively involved in activism and advocacy. As the co-President of Brown's StopTortureRI chapter and an upcoming journalist intern for the Borgen Project, I will gain practical experience in research, policy analysis, and advocacy and be able to work alongside individuals whom systemic challenges have directly impacted. Advocacy work promotes a stronger framework for addressing human rights issues by drawing attention to gaps in existing policies and proposing solutions to address these gaps. By engaging with policymakers and raising awareness about global poverty and human rights issues, I aim to help shape the discourse and policies around human rights, build solidarity among communities, bring attention to marginalized voices, and protect and promote human rights. Human rights law provides a powerful framework for addressing socioeconomic inequality, discrimination, and systemic oppression. I plan to attend law school to explore the interconnectedness of social, economic, political, and cultural factors in shaping systemic challenges and their impact on human rights and health outcomes. As a law student specializing in international and comparative law and human rights, I will be able to analyze complex legal and policy issues and shape policies and regulations that address systemic global problems and promote the rights of marginalized groups. Attending law school can equip me with the necessary practical skills, such as legal research, policy analysis, and advocacy, and knowledge to effectively navigate legal systems and shape policies to advocate for human rights and social justice. The pursuit of human rights law and social justice has been a driving force for me, stemming from personal experiences witnessing poverty and political oppression. Through interdisciplinary studies and practical experiences, I seek to build a knowledge culture that enables me to engage meaningfully in human rights issues and advocate for marginalized communities. I remain dedicated to promoting dialogue, building solidarity, and shaping policies and laws that promote and protect human rights.
    La Santana Scholarship
    I plan to use my education in law to make a positive impact on the world by advocating for human rights and addressing systemic issues that perpetuate injustice. A few inches from my house were rotting roadkills, piles of trash, and homeless people. Driving down the road, I often saw vendors straddling their carts around the block and vagrants begging on the street to provide for their families. Vietnam's lack of adequate social welfare programs produced vast pockets of poverty. Witnessing poverty firsthand at a young age shaped my commitment to social justice and human rights. I recognize the importance of understanding cultural nuances and the perspectives of vulnerable communities. Reflecting on my childhood experiences in Vietnam helps me better comprehend the challenges faced by marginalized groups and informs my approach to addressing human rights issues. I aim to be culturally sensitive and identify the most effective ways to make a positive impact by working closely with communities and amplifying their voices. To translate my passion for human rights into action, I am utilizing my undergraduate education to analyze the framework for identifying human rights abuses and social injustice, understanding their consequences, and developing solutions to tackle these challenges. I am pursuing interdisciplinary studies that explore the intersection of human rights and global health, examining how cultural and social factors shape health policies and human development. By studying the role of international organizations in coordinating human rights policies and the impacts of global socioeconomic inequality, I aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex nature of promoting human rights and designing effective policies. In addition to my academic pursuits, I am actively involved in activism and advocacy. As the co-President of Brown's StopTortureRI chapter and a current journalist intern for the Borgen Project, I will gain practical experience in research, policy analysis, and advocacy and be able to work alongside individuals whom systemic challenges have directly impacted. Advocacy work promotes a stronger framework for addressing human rights issues by drawing attention to gaps in existing policies and proposing solutions to address these gaps. By engaging with policymakers and raising awareness about global poverty and human rights issues, I aim to help shape the discourse and policies around human rights, build solidarity among communities, bring attention to marginalized voices, and protect and promote human rights. Human rights law provides a powerful framework for addressing socioeconomic inequality, discrimination, and systemic oppression. I plan to attend law school to explore the interconnectedness of social, economic, political, and cultural factors in shaping systemic challenges and their impact on human rights and health outcomes. As a law student specializing in international and comparative law and human rights, I will be able to analyze complex legal and policy issues and shape policies and regulations that address systemic global problems and promote the rights of marginalized groups. Attending law school can equip me with the necessary practical skills, such as legal research, policy analysis, and advocacy, and knowledge to effectively navigate legal systems and shape policies to advocate for human rights and social justice. The pursuit of human rights law and social justice has been a driving force for me, stemming from personal experiences witnessing poverty and political oppression. Through interdisciplinary studies and practical experiences, I seek to build a knowledge culture that enables me to engage meaningfully in human rights issues and advocate for marginalized communities. I remain dedicated to promoting dialogue, building solidarity, and shaping policies and laws that promote and protect human rights.
    Rivera-Gulley First-Gen Scholarship Award
    A few inches from my house were rotting roadkills, piles of trash, and homeless people. I often saw vagrants begging on the street to provide for their families. Living in Vietnam as a child, I saw the effects of inadequate social welfare programs, poverty, and police brutality. Witnessing poverty and political oppression firsthand at a young age shaped my commitment to social justice and human rights. As a first-generation college student from an immigrant background, I experienced firsthand the barriers and injustices vulnerable communities faced and understood the importance of advocating for their rights. The struggles my family and I endured as immigrants, including lack of social support and cramped living conditions, gave me a deep appreciation for the power of education and the need for social change. I recognize the importance of understanding cultural nuances and the perspectives of vulnerable communities. Reflecting on my childhood experiences in Vietnam helps me better comprehend the challenges faced by marginalized groups and informs my approach to addressing human rights issues. I aim to be culturally sensitive and identify the most effective ways to make a positive impact by working closely with communities and amplifying their voices. To address the critical social issue of human rights, I am utilizing my undergraduate education to analyze the framework for identifying human rights abuses and social injustice, understanding their consequences, and developing solutions to tackle these challenges. I am pursuing interdisciplinary studies that explore the intersection of human rights, global poverty, and health outcomes, examining how cultural and social factors shape health policies and human development. By studying the role of international organizations in coordinating human rights policies and the impacts of global socioeconomic inequality, I aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex nature of human rights protection and policy implementation. As a current journalist intern for the Borgen Project, I aim to gain practical experience in research, policy analysis, and advocacy and be able to work alongside individuals whom global poverty and solitary confinement have directly impacted. Advocacy work promotes a stronger framework for addressing human rights issues by drawing attention to gaps in existing policies and proposing solutions to address these gaps. By engaging with policymakers and raising awareness about global poverty and human rights issues, I aim to help shape the discourse and policies around human rights, build solidarity among communities, bring attention to marginalized voices, and protect and promote human rights. The pursuit of human rights law and social justice has been a driving force for me, stemming from personal experiences witnessing poverty and political oppression. I plan to attend law school to explore the interconnectedness of social, economic, political, and cultural factors in shaping systemic challenges and their impact on human rights and health outcomes. Studying law with a concentration in international and comparative law and human rights will enable me to analyze complex legal and policy issues and shape policies and regulations that address systemic global problems and promote the rights of marginalized groups. Attending law school can equip me with the necessary practical skills, such as legal research, policy analysis, and advocacy, and knowledge to effectively navigate legal systems and shape policies to advocate for human rights and social justice.
    Harry & Mary Sheaffer Scholarship
    Growing up in an immigrant background and witnessing poverty and political oppression in Vietnam enhanced my ability to understand and empathize with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. My cross-cultural sensitivity and communication skills enable me to bridge cultural gaps and foster understanding among individuals from diverse backgrounds. I can actively engage in intercultural dialogue, promote cultural exchange, and encourage empathy by facilitating conversations highlighting different communities' shared values, experiences, and aspirations. My talents in advocacy and activism empower you to raise awareness, mobilize support, and drive positive change. I can leverage your skills to address human rights violations, social injustices, and systemic inequalities. By advocating for marginalized communities, amplifying their voices, and pushing for policy reforms, I hope to contribute to building a more inclusive and compassionate global community. As a journalist intern, I hope to utilize my communication and writing skills to share stories and experiences that foster empathy and understanding. Through journalism, writing, or other media platforms, I can highlight the narratives of marginalized individuals, shedding light on their challenges, resilience, and contributions. By sharing these stories, I can challenge stereotypes, break down barriers, and inspire others to empathize with diverse perspectives. My aptitude for research and analysis allows me to critically examine complex global social issues, understand their root causes, and propose evidence-based solutions. I aim to contribute to academic research, policy analysis, or think tanks focused on human rights, social justice, and global issues. Attending law school can equip me with the necessary practical skills, such as legal research, policy analysis, and advocacy, and knowledge to effectively navigate legal systems and shape policies to advocate for human rights and social justice. My leadership skills enable me to mobilize and collaborate with diverse groups of individuals, fostering empathy and understanding through collective action. I can initiate projects or join existing initiatives that promote social cohesion, cultural exchange, and community empowerment. By bringing together individuals from different backgrounds and fostering collaboration, I help develop a more empathetic and understanding global community. My knowledge and experiences can be shared through mentoring, teaching, or capacity-building programs. By empowering others with the tools and understanding needed to address social issues, I help cultivate a generation of empathetic and compassionate individuals who will work towards building a more inclusive and understanding global community. Building a more empathetic and understanding global community is a collective effort. By combining my unique talents and skills with the efforts of others, I want to contribute to positive change on a local, national, and international scale. To translate my passion for human rights into action, I am utilizing my undergraduate education to analyze the framework for identifying human rights abuses and social injustice, understanding their consequences, and developing solutions to tackle these challenges. I am pursuing interdisciplinary studies that explore the intersection of human rights and global health, examining how cultural and social factors shape health policies and human development. By studying the role of international organizations in coordinating human rights policies and the impacts of global socioeconomic inequality, I aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex nature of promoting human rights and designing effective policies. The pursuit of human rights law and social justice has been a driving force for me, stemming from personal experiences witnessing poverty and political oppression. Through interdisciplinary studies and practical experiences, I seek to build a knowledge culture that enables me to engage meaningfully in human rights issues and advocate for marginalized communities. I remain dedicated to promoting dialogue, building solidarity, and shaping policies and laws that promote and protect human rights.
    Career Search Scholarship
    I plan to use my undergraduate concentrations in economics and international public affairs and explore human rights law and equitable development to address global systemic issues. A few inches from my house were rotting roadkills, piles of trash, and homeless people. Driving down the road, I often saw vendors straddling their carts around the block and vagrants begging on the street to provide for their families. Vietnam's lack of adequate social welfare programs produced vast pockets of poverty. Witnessing poverty firsthand at a young age shaped my commitment to social justice and human rights. To translate my passion for human rights into action, I am utilizing my undergraduate education to analyze the framework for identifying human rights abuses and social injustice, understanding their consequences, and developing solutions to tackle these challenges. I am pursuing interdisciplinary studies that explore the intersection of human rights and global health, examining how cultural and social factors shape health policies and human development. By studying the role of international organizations in coordinating human rights policies and the impacts of global socioeconomic inequality, I aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex nature of promoting human rights and designing effective policies. In addition to my academic pursuits, I am actively involved in activism and advocacy. As the co-President of Brown's StopTortureRI chapter and an upcoming journalist intern for the Borgen Project, I will gain practical experience in research, policy analysis, and advocacy and be able to work alongside individuals whom global poverty and solitary confinement have directly impacted. Advocacy work promotes a stronger framework for addressing human rights issues by drawing attention to gaps in existing policies and proposing solutions to address these gaps. By engaging with policymakers and raising awareness about global poverty and human rights issues, I aim to help shape the discourse and policies around human rights, build solidarity among communities, bring attention to marginalized voices, and protect and promote human rights. Human rights law provides a powerful framework for addressing socioeconomic inequality, discrimination, and systemic oppression. I plan to attend law school to explore the interconnectedness of social, economic, political, and cultural factors in shaping systemic challenges and their impact on human rights and health outcomes. As a law student specializing in international and comparative law and human rights, I will be able to analyze complex legal and policy issues and shape policies and regulations that address systemic global problems and promote the rights of marginalized groups. Attending law school can equip me with the necessary practical skills, such as legal research, policy analysis, and advocacy, and knowledge to effectively navigate legal systems and shape policies to advocate for human rights and social justice. I recognize the importance of understanding cultural nuances and the perspectives of vulnerable communities. Reflecting on my childhood experiences in Vietnam helps me better comprehend the challenges faced by marginalized groups and informs my approach to addressing human rights issues. I have chosen to use my story to take action and help others avoid the difficulties I experienced. I aim to be culturally sensitive and identify the most effective ways to make a positive impact by working closely with communities and amplifying their voices. The pursuit of human rights law and social justice has been a driving force for me, stemming from personal experiences witnessing poverty and political oppression. Through interdisciplinary studies and practical experiences, I seek to build a knowledge culture that enables me to engage meaningfully in human rights issues and advocate for marginalized communities. I remain dedicated to promoting dialogue, building solidarity, and shaping policies and laws that promote and protect human rights.
    Albright, Carter, Campbell Ohana Scholarship for Academic Excellence
    My experiences with Vietnam's legal system and education as an immigrant have profoundly impacted my beliefs, relationships, and career aspirations. A few inches from my house were rotting roadkills, piles of trash, and homeless people. I often saw vagrants begging on the street to provide for their families. Living in Vietnam as a child, I saw the effects of inadequate social welfare programs, poverty, and police brutality. Witnessing poverty and political oppression firsthand at a young age shaped my commitment to social justice and human rights. As a first-generation college student from an immigrant background, I experienced firsthand the barriers and injustices vulnerable communities faced and understood the importance of advocating for their rights. The struggles my family and I endured as immigrants, including lack of social support, and cramped living conditions, gave me a deep appreciation for the power of education and the need for social change. Despite facing language barriers and mental health challenges, I persevered and decided to channel my experiences into advocacy for others facing similar hardships. I recognized the responsibility that comes with being an immigrant and first-generation college student and felt a strong desire to give back to my community and make a positive impact. Through my work with Vietnamese immigrants, advocating for women in STEM and Asian inclusivity, and tutoring children from low-income backgrounds, I witnessed the true impacts of social injustice and developed a profound understanding of and empathy for others' struggles. Human rights law provides a powerful framework for addressing socioeconomic inequality, discrimination, and systemic oppression. Pursuing human rights law will give me the legal education and skills to advocate for marginalized communities and challenge systemic injustices. Through interdisciplinary studies and practical experiences, I seek to build a knowledge base that allows me to engage meaningfully in human rights issues and contribute to the empowerment of marginalized voices. I aim to approach the fight for human rights with a reflexive mindset by considering a range of methods and approaches that can uplift oppressed voices and combat human rights abuses. To address the important social issue of human rights, I am utilizing my undergraduate education to analyze the framework for identifying human rights abuses and social injustice, understanding their consequences, and developing solutions to tackle these challenges. I am pursuing interdisciplinary studies that explore the intersection of human rights, global poverty, and health outcomes, examining how cultural and social factors shape health policies and human development. By studying the role of international organizations in coordinating human rights policies and the impacts of global socioeconomic inequality, I aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex nature of human rights protection and policy implementation. As the co-President of Brown's StopTortureRI chapter and an upcoming journalist intern for the Borgen Project, I will gain practical experience in research, policy analysis, and advocacy and be able to work alongside individuals whom global poverty and solitary confinement have directly impacted. Advocacy work promotes a stronger framework for addressing human rights issues by drawing attention to gaps in existing policies and proposing solutions to address these gaps. By engaging with policymakers and raising awareness about global poverty and human rights issues, I aim to help shape the discourse and policies around human rights, build solidarity among communities, bring attention to marginalized voices, and protect and promote human rights. The pursuit of human rights law and social justice has been a driving force for me. In addition to promoting dialogue, building solidarity, and protecting marginalized voices, I remain dedicated to combating injustices and shaping policies and laws that promote human rights.
    TJ Crowson Memorial Scholarship
    I plan to use my education in law to make a positive impact on the world by advocating for human rights and addressing systemic issues that perpetuate injustice. A few inches from my house were rotting roadkills, piles of trash, and homeless people. Driving down the road, I often saw vendors straddling their carts around the block and vagrants begging on the street to provide for their families. Vietnam's lack of adequate social welfare programs produced vast pockets of poverty. Witnessing poverty firsthand at a young age shaped my commitment to social justice and human rights. I recognize the importance of understanding cultural nuances and the perspectives of vulnerable communities. Reflecting on my childhood experiences in Vietnam helps me better comprehend the challenges faced by marginalized groups and informs my approach to addressing human rights issues. I aim to be culturally sensitive and identify the most effective ways to make a positive impact by working closely with communities and amplifying their voices. To translate my passion for human rights into action, I am utilizing my undergraduate education to analyze the framework for identifying human rights abuses and social injustice, understanding their consequences, and developing solutions to tackle these challenges. I am pursuing interdisciplinary studies that explore the intersection of human rights and global health, examining how cultural and social factors shape health policies and human development. By studying the role of international organizations in coordinating human rights policies and the impacts of global socioeconomic inequality, I aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex nature of promoting human rights and designing effective policies. In addition to my academic pursuits, I am actively involved in activism and advocacy. As the co-President of Brown's StopTortureRI chapter and an upcoming journalist intern for the Borgen Project, I will gain practical experience in research, policy analysis, and advocacy and be able to work alongside individuals whom systemic challenges have directly impacted. Advocacy work promotes a stronger framework for addressing human rights issues by drawing attention to gaps in existing policies and proposing solutions to address these gaps. By engaging with policymakers and raising awareness about global poverty and human rights issues, I aim to help shape the discourse and policies around human rights, build solidarity among communities, bring attention to marginalized voices, and protect and promote human rights. Human rights law provides a powerful framework for addressing socioeconomic inequality, discrimination, and systemic oppression. I plan to attend law school to explore the interconnectedness of social, economic, political, and cultural factors in shaping systemic challenges and their impact on human rights and health outcomes. As a law student specializing in international and comparative law and human rights, I will be able to analyze complex legal and policy issues and shape policies and regulations that address systemic global problems and promote the rights of marginalized groups. Attending law school can equip me with the necessary practical skills, such as legal research, policy analysis, and advocacy, and knowledge to effectively navigate legal systems and shape policies to advocate for human rights and social justice. The pursuit of human rights law and social justice has been a driving force for me, stemming from personal experiences witnessing poverty and political oppression. Through interdisciplinary studies and practical experiences, I seek to build a knowledge culture that enables me to engage meaningfully in human rights issues and advocate for marginalized communities. I remain dedicated to promoting dialogue, building solidarity, and shaping policies and laws that promote and protect human rights.
    Phoenix Opportunity Award
    As a first-generation college student from an immigrant background, my decision to pursue a career in human rights law has been profoundly influenced by my personal experiences and the challenges I have faced. Growing up, I saw firsthand the barriers and injustices vulnerable communities faced and understood the importance of advocating for their rights. The struggles my family endured as immigrants, including living in cramped conditions and working long hours for low wages, gave me a deep appreciation for the power of education and the need for social change. Despite facing language barriers and mental health challenges, I persevered and decided to channel my experiences into advocacy for others facing similar hardships. I recognized the responsibility that comes with being a first-generation college student and felt a strong desire to give back to my community and make a positive impact. Through my work with Vietnamese immigrants, advocating for women in STEM and Asian inclusivity, tutoring children from low-income backgrounds, and addressing stigmas around women's health, I witnessed the true impacts of social injustice and developed a profound understanding of and empathy for others' struggles. My personal journey as an immigrant and first-generation college student has fueled my passion for justice and social change. I have chosen to use my challenges and story to take action and help others avoid the difficulties I faced. I approach my experiences with appreciation, as they have taught me resilience, strength, and the value of hard work. I am driven by the belief that everyone, regardless of their background, deserves to have their rights respected and protected. Human rights law provides a powerful framework for addressing socioeconomic inequality, discrimination, and systemic oppression. Pursuing human rights law will give me the legal education and skills to advocate for marginalized communities and challenge systemic injustices. Through interdisciplinary studies and practical experiences, I seek to build a knowledge base that allows me to engage meaningfully in human rights issues and contribute to the empowerment of marginalized voices. Being a first-generation college student from an immigrant background has instilled my commitment to addressing socioeconomic issues and human rights law. I aim to promote dialogue, build solidarity, and shape policies and laws that protect human rights. I recognize that achieving social justice requires a multifaceted approach, and I am dedicated to using my voice and skills to combat socioeconomic injustices and advocate for policies that uphold human rights.
    Jeannine Schroeder Women in Public Service Memorial Scholarship
    A few inches from my house were rotting roadkills, piles of trash, and homeless people. Driving down the road, I often saw vendors straddling their carts around the block and vagrants begging on the street to provide for their families. Vietnam’s lack of adequate social welfare programs produced vast pockets of poverty. Witnessing poverty firsthand at a young age shaped my commitment to community-based advocacy and addressing global poverty and socioeconomic issues. Through my nonprofit leadership and volunteer, I helped inform my community about the importance of advocating for a more just and equitable society. Working with Vietnamese refugees and immigrants, advocating for women in STEM and Asian inclusivity, tutoring kids from low-income backgrounds, and helping address the inhumane conditions of solitary confinement in Rhode Island have shown the true impacts of social injustice, reinforced my understanding of and sympathy for others’ struggles, and inspired me to extend my commitment to advocacy. I hope to build solidarity with underprivileged communities, mobilize solutions, and contribute to developing a stronger legal framework that addresses socioeconomic issues. My experiences and passion for advocacy have fueled my commitment to researching global poverty issues and poverty-reduction efforts. Through my upcoming role as a journalist intern at The Borgen Project, I will have the opportunity to deepen my knowledge of global poverty and learn from experts in development and human rights. My role will entail researching and reporting on U.S. congressional bills addressing global poverty and development, poverty-reduction efforts by multilateral organizations, and global health progress. I will conduct in-depth research on policy issues to educate a wider audience about the importance of reducing poverty and promoting equitable development. I also have the opportunity to interview experts in the field, such as policymakers, academics, and practitioners, and learn from their perspectives and experiences. Interacting with diverse experts in the area can give me a more nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing communities worldwide and how different actors can work together to promote human development. Interning at The Borgen Project can deepen my knowledge of the interconnectedness of human rights issues, such as poverty, health, education, and economic development. Engaging with knowledge cultures about human rights and global poverty will enable me to examine how policies, governments, and multilateral organizations design and promote poverty-reduction efforts. Global poverty is often deeply rooted in historical and cultural factors, and comparative development provides insights into different approaches to poverty reduction. I plan to attend law school to explore the interconnectedness of social, economic, political, and cultural factors in shaping global poverty and its impact on human rights and health outcomes. Law school can provide me with a framework for addressing systemic poverty issues and a unique perspective on human rights challenges and help me develop practical skills, such as legal research, policy analysis, and advocacy, to mobilize social change. I will be able to analyze complex legal and policy issues and shape policies and regulations that address systemic global problems and promote the rights of marginalized groups. By examining the implications and evaluating the effectiveness of public policies, I aim to design and shape policies that promote human rights, equitable economic development, and global poverty reduction.
    WCEJ Thornton Foundation Low-Income Scholarship
    Winner
    Deafening screams of children in the night, ripped curtains draping over metal bar windows, and a black, green-hued mold on the flaking wall surrounded a crowd of patients and families unable to afford medical care. I was hospitalized for appendicitis at six years old. Laying on my bed, I watched the other patients for days with dread. Understaffed and underfunded, the hospital left them unattended and in pain. Yellow-stained bed sheets remained for days as no nurses looked after the patients, who reeked of sweat and excrement. The abuse and neglect at the hospital forced me to grasp the frightening reality of the community I came from. A few inches from my house were rotting roadkills, piles of trash, and homeless people. Driving down the road, I often saw vendors straddling their carts around the block and vagrants begging on the street to provide for their families. I always had the knowledge that these things existed, but only after my stay at the hospital did I begin to form empathy for the hardships they caused. Observing the world around me more closely, my passion for helping people grew. However, I simultaneously became aware of my role and class. I was a part of the deprived community that I wanted to help. Living in a communist country and coming from a low-income background, I knew I had limited opportunities. Did that mean I couldn’t help people? One day, I met a young girl, plodding on the sidewalk, dressed in shabby, torn clothing, accessorized with a Hello Kitty fanny pack and flip flops with a strap missing. She was selling lottery tickets. (Children from impoverished families in Vietnam typically cannot afford education and basic living necessities and, thus, take menial jobs, often on the streets, to support their families). Many passersby, disgusted by her sunburnt skin smeared in grease and dirt from head to toe, turned her away. It had been a familiar sight, but that day, I felt a pang in my chest. I immediately begged my father to give the girl whatever he had. When he bought a twenty Dong ticket (equivalent to less than one USD), her eyes glistened with joy; I finally understood how much so little could mean. Since then, I have overcome my socioeconomic challenges to build a better community for those around me. Working with Vietnamese refugees and immigrants, advocating for women in STEM and Asian inclusivity, tutoring kids from low-income backgrounds, and addressing misconceptions and stigmas around women’s health have shown me the true impacts of social injustice, reinforced my understanding of and sympathy for others’ struggles, and inspired me to extend my commitment to advocacy by encouraging my peers to take action. While my contributions so far have yet to change the world, I can see the difference I have made. Using the knowledge and experience I have gained and will gain, I wish to return to Vietnam after my undergraduate study and extend my help to rural areas, where the most basic needs, such as healthcare and safe housing, are considered privileges. Becoming an advocate for people from various backgrounds and cultures also requires me to obtain preponderant knowledge of the law, politics, and society. What I need now is to be connected with passionate people with diverse interests, backgrounds, and goals and empowered by an interdisciplinary education so that I can understand the issues faced by the people I aim to help. An interdisciplinary study in economics and politics will provide me with a broader understanding of social issues and push me to critically reflect on how I can tackle local and global atrocities and effectively address these complex issues. Returning to Vietnam is a strong professional goal of mine. I hope to pursue a career in human rights law to advocate for the Vietnamese citizens still facing the hardships I endured as a child, such as poverty, corruption, class disparity, and improper healthcare, and provide them with a support system I lacked. My adversities do not define me; I own them. I have chosen to use my challenges and story to take action and help others not undergo what I went through. I look back with no indignation, but an appreciation as my struggles have taught me resilience, strength, and hard work. Being educated in America with endless opportunities before me, I strive to succeed, explore the world, and uplift the lives of everyone I encounter.