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Jacquelyn Layton - Brown


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Jacquelyn Layton-Brown is a Junior, double major in 'Languages, Literatures, and Cultures' and 'Psychology' at UNC Greensboro. She comes from a single-parent, low-income family and is a first-generation college student with siblings also in college. As a result, Jacquelyn works two full-time jobs alongside being a full-time student, and takes out loans in order to afford her college education. Her love for languages grew from growing up in a diverse area where she started learning to better interact with people in her community. Jacquelyn aims to pursue a career in Speech Pathology or Psycholinguistics with a mission to focus on how our brains processes allow us to learn languages, and how to make language and speech education easier, especially for children in minority groups. She hopes to contribute to breakthroughs in memory and cognition based research to make cures for people with speech disorders like, aphasia, and dementia-based illnesses a reality.


University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Bachelor's degree program
2023 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Other
    • Psychology, General
  • Minors:
    • East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General

Howard University

Bachelor's degree program
2021 - 2023
  • Majors:
    • Computer Science

Raritan Valley Community College

High School
2020 - 2021

Franklin High School

High School
2018 - 2021


  • Desired degree level:

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

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Psychology, General
    • Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Other
    • Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Hospital & Health Care

    • Dream career goals:

      Psycholinguist; Speech Pathologist

    • Pet Sitter/Scheduling Manager

      High-Paw! Pet Care
      2021 – Present3 years
    • Human Resources Specialist Intern (Summer 2020)

      Mahogany Society
      2020 – 2020
    • Sales and Marketing Intern (Summer 2023)

      Sommelier Black
      2023 – 2023
    • Food Delivery Driver

      2021 – 20232 years
    • Team Member

      Mooyah Burgers, Fries, & Shakes
      2019 – 20201 year
    • Event Server

      Design Cuisine
      2021 – Present3 years



    Junior Varsity
    2015 – 20172 years


    2018 – 20213 years


    • Skyland Conference Girls High Game Award


    • Research and Experimental Psychology

      Memory and Cognition Lab at UNCG — Undergraduate Researcher
      2024 – Present
    • Cognitive Science

      Cognitive and Neural Science of Learning Lab at UNCG — Cognitive MRI Lab Tester
      2023 – Present


    • Franklin High School

      2019 – 2019

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Greensboro Community Leaders — Pantry Stocker & Cleaner
      2023 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Somerset Animal Shelter — Aided with fundraisers
      2019 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      North Stelton A.M.E Church Food Pantry — I packed kits and helped give families items they needed
      2020 – Present
    • Volunteering

      Amnesty International — Organizer
      2019 – 2019
    • Volunteering

      Michael's Miracles — Helped kids with making arts and crafts
      2019 – 2019

    Future Interests





    Arin Kel Memorial Scholarship
    When I first saw this scholarship opportunity, I bypassed it because I did not qualify. I had not lost a family besides a grandparent and a few great-uncles when I was younger. At their funerals, I had spotty memories and missed being able to see them but also knew that death was a normal part of life and was likely for older people. I remember reading the scholarship description and feeling my heart go out to those who experienced the loss of someone close to them. In the past, I comforted friends who went through similar situations with my condolences and lent them a shoulder to cry on but could not share in a pain I had never experienced. On January 11, 2024, ruminating over a decision on whether to study abroad, I was elated and felt like I was on top of the world until I picked up my father's phone call. "Isaac? My brother, Isaac?" I had already known the answer but I did not want to accept the news. In the following moments, all I could do was cry. The thought that constantly circled through my head was that my time with him was so short. Although Isaac was ten years older than me, I only knew him for a little over that. I first met him when I was eight years old when my dad introduced my sister and me to my stepmom for the first time. When we stayed the weekend with our dad, we rarely saw him and spent all day watching television until he returned to go to bed. However, whenever Isaac came home from work after midnight, he arrived bearing treats, like cookies and brownies. Until we got sleepy, we watched a movie, played video games, or talked about things happening in our lives. January 17, 2024, reality turned into a movie during his funeral. I sat still during the service feeling like my body and actions were not truly my own, and wanted to wake from the nightmare. On my flight back from New Jersey, I decided I could not continue on this way. My homework assignments were often late, I hardly ate, slept for long periods, and my showers became very irregular. Isaac was a very ambitious and joyful person who always had a positive outlook on life. I knew he would be saddened by seeing the state I was in. Eventually, I got myself back onto my old schedule and allowed myself to smile again. Putting my fear aside, I applied to the study abroad application I was worrying about and was accepted into my desired program on March 3rd. I am eating well, and continue to enjoy life. In my day-to-day, others have told me that I am taking my brother's passing very well have not seen the effort needed to do so. Although there will be rough days, I remind myself of my brother's philosophy and push myself to continue chasing my goals to reach success.
    Sean Carroll's Mindscape Big Picture Scholarship
    We live in a vast world that we are actively attempting to learn about and explore every day. From the bottom of the ocean that we have yet to know, to possible life being the stars and our galaxy, I believe that understanding our universe is the only solution for fully appreciating the lives that we have and the tomorrows we wake up to. I choose to explore the nature of the universe through the study of the mind. It is theorized to have taken approximately six billion years before we evolved as humans from our apelike ancestors. In terms of the universe, we are only a speck compared to the history and transformations that our planet and fellow lifeforms experienced. Despite the leaps and bounds and research that we have, that allows us to perform functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans to measure blood flow to create scans of our brains, or computed tomography (CT) scans that can show the details of our body parts, there is still plenty that we do not know about how our brains work and stores information. This gap is why I choose to pursue the study of cognitive neuroscience, specifically focusing on how we learn languages, to understand the processes our brain employs to understand our world. We as humans have developed over seven thousand known languages, many of which are distinctively different from each other in both the grammar and sounds of the language. These languages have influenced cultural customs, values, and our outlook on the world. It has also been discovered that bilingualism can impact our mind's health positively in many cases, or even be lost due to lesions and other disruptions of the brain's normal functions, however, breakthroughs such as these still require extensive research on the matter to find solid theories for the phenomena. I am a firm believer that through the study of ourselves and our minds and how our cognition evolved to be the way it is, we can create a viable prediction for the impact of further exploration of life on our mental processes outside of life on Earth, and any encounters we may face with other lifeforms within our universe. Through participation in extensive cognitive neuroscience research and further learning about what we currently understand about ourselves, I hope to explore solutions for unanswered questions in psychology and find new perspectives for understanding our universe, and what bounds it may or may not hold.
    Ultimate K-Pop Stan Scholarship
    In September 2017, the start of my Freshman year of high school, I had my first brush with the music genre I would listen to every day for the next seven years. Living in a predominantly Black and Hispanic neighborhood, my understanding of other cultures and languages was close to none. However, after hearing "DNA" by BTS playing on the bus from a friend's phone, my worldview began to expand. I went home and took a deep dive into all things K-Pop, from Exo to BlackPink, and even to older artists like Girls' Generation and PSY. As I had never been able to travel much growing up, I felt as though I was traveling to a new place with each lyric. After a few months of falling in love with BTS' discography, I learned that many people at my school also listened to K-Pop and began to make new friends. Slowly, I started self-studying Korean and gained some new study buddies at school and online. In early 2019, I found a new group to love named NCT 127, which later became the first live show I have ever seen at the 2018 Macy's Day Parade with my family. Once the Coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020, I felt extremely alone and disheartened. Fear of the global pandemic, isolation from friends, housing and food insecurity, and well as witnessing the graphic content and police brutality during the George Floyd protests, the world I was building for myself felt as though it shattered. During the year and a half of lockdown, my depression got worse and some days, I felt I did not want to go on. However, instead of giving up, I buried myself in things that made me feel happy. Over and over, I listened to my favorite albums from NCT 127 and BTS to help myself get over the negative emotions. Every day, I studied Korean with the song lyrics and practiced speaking online with others. My small victories for being able to understand more lyrics and artist live streams on platforms, such as VLive, my struggles got a little better. Two years later, I still listen to NCT and BTS every day and study Korean. Their music still helps me make friends and I even became a founding member of my school's K-Pop dance team. My Korean is advanced enough that I can understand many songs and shows. Next fall, I plan to continue expanding my world and study abroad in Korea to supplement my Korean classes at my university. Thanks to that day in 2017, K-pop groups like BTS, have both gotten me through dire times and provided me with new experiences that I hold close to my heart forever.
    I Can Do Anything Scholarship
    The dream version of myself is someone who is happy to wake up every day to run their successful international hotel chain and cruise ship line, preparing to expand our partnerships with several airlines alongside my family.
    Growing with Gabby Scholarship
    Around early August, about twenty days before my second year of college, I received a call from my mother. The sunlight in the room felt as if it were stolen out of the sky, draining my excitement for the future with it as I listened: "I can't afford to help you pay for school this year". Her words rang in my head as I tried to find a solution to my new obstacle. I should've seen this coming, is all I could feel. My family has always been low-income and the pandemic made it worse with the loss of my mother's job, however, things were looking up during my first year of school. Although I did work during the summer, nothing could have prepared me to pay eight thousand dollars in a week. Frantically, I looked into private loans but couldn't receive them without a co-signer. I contacted my school's financial aid office, but all aid was fully dispersed during the early summer months. Transferring seemed like the next best idea, however, most schools had deadlines that passed months ago. The more I searched, the more it felt like everything was leading to one path: dropping out. History felt like it was repeating, as my older siblings dropped out due to financial hardships and my mother could not afford to attend college in her youth. Being the last child, I felt as if I was the last chance to break the generational cycle. Determined, I revisited my school's financial aid office every day, and consistently, I was told that there was nothing they could do to help. Day after day, I lost momentum, feeling like I was fighting a losing battle until one day, I was told that I could increase my federal subsidized loan amount and enroll in a payment plan. Using the money I earned during the summer, I made the initial down payment and worked throughout the semester to pay off the other six thousand. From dog walking to DoorDash to catering, I worked in between and after classes to stay in school. It was all exhausting and extremely challenging, however, it all showed me that I am capable. Many times growing up, I heard remarks such as, "you could never survive a full-time job" or "you're so lazy and never do anything," despite how hard I worked. However, this past semester allowed me to feel like my hard work can finally be seen and that I am more than what others say about me. My work ethic may have always been there, but I feel more confident in my ability to work towards a goal and be able to accomplish it. Although I still work to pay off my spring semester, my work during my fall semester and winter break allowed me to lower my hours from close to fifty-five a week to thirty-five giving me more time to focus on my main goal: finishing school and earning my degree.
    Dog Owner Scholarship
    Having a dog is not just having a pet. For many, it means having a friend, child, or companion that they can keep in their life. From the daily feeding and walks to the playing and grooming, having a dog can be a lot to handle. However, I cherish every moment I get to spend with my dog, whose full name is Lucky Alexander Ducky Layton the Dog the first, named by my amazing older sister. Lucky is an eight-year-old playful parson terrier-chihuahua mix whose favorite pastime is barking at 5 a.m. and throwing his chew toys at my family and me. Although Lucky's rowdiness may not seem like a gift at first, it meant a lot when I was diagnosed with depression at fourteen years old. Throughout high school, I struggled with finding the willpower to get out of bed. Most nights, my anxiety made it hard to fall asleep causing me to lie awake until 3 a.m. This would make waking up for school at 6 a.m. an even harder task. Talking to my family about my feelings was a difficult road to navigate and made me feel guilty for not having the energy to talk, making me more closed off. As my depression worsened, Lucky began to stick around me more. He would sit beside me on the couch and let me pet him until I smiled. At night, he would slip under my blanket and curl up beside me which calmed me down enough to fall asleep. When I felt down and would not leave my bed, Lucky would bite on the blanket and pull it off me. If I still did not wake up, he would bark and lick my hand until I got out to walk him. Slowly, I noticed that he would only bark the most when my mood was at its worst. Caring for Lucky forced me to get up and go outside even when all I wanted to do was be alone. Playing with him and teaching him tricks made me get out of my room and interact with my family. Without needing to take care of Lucky, I would not have wanted to get out of my bed every day and would not have made strides to get better. Lucky is my comfort, pal, and even my alarm clock. Playful, loveable, and a huge sense of joy for me, I love Lucky. Every lick, bark, sneeze, shake, and nose-nudge from him, I cherish. Not matter how distressed and worried I feel, I have a furry friend who will wag their tail and lick me to make me smile.
    Femi Chebaís Scholarship
    My dream is to live a life that I am proud of living. I want to work hard to help not only myself but others as well. If I can look back on my life and see that the work I did was meaningful, I will feel like my dream was reached.
    Bookman 5 Scholarship
    “I don't know how to work this,” I think while staring at the silver laptop sitting on my desk. I run my finger over the smooth, white apple logo in awe before lifting the lid. Pressing key after key, I await the startup screen. Glancing around, I watch my sixth-grade classmates around me log on with ease as if they had done it a million times. Swallowing my courage, I lean over to my neighbor, “How do I turn this on?” With wide eyes and a slightly agape mouth as if in shock, they ask: “You’ve never used a MacBook before?” I had never seen a MacBook computer in person before, let alone received a personal school computer of any brand. The bright screen was as foreign to me as the city I stood in. Transferring from an urban low-income area to the suburbs, walking around my new school made me feel as if I was stuck in a maze. Filled to the brim with only two grades, fifth and sixth, it was massive. There were multiple music classes, art classes, computer labs, and enough textbooks to go around. My previous school which once felt so large with 8 grades and a Windows Vista desktop for every 100 students, now felt like a shed. Many students around me talked about extravagant things such as visiting France for their birthday or something seemingly small like attending dance classes outside of school, while most days I struggled to have lunch money and groceries. Although the school had several things to offer and I made friends, not everyone was the same. To my horror, I watched as students skipped classes or completely demolished the computer screens and keys. In classes, students would run and hide from me so as to not end up in a group with me. Random things were sprayed in my hair and even a couple of teachers would exclude me from participating in class events. However, through my troubles such as struggling with depression and anxiety, only one thing got me through: knowing I will go to college after it all. Growing up in a single-parent home with a degreeless mother, she stressed the importance of education to my siblings and me at a very young age. My saving grace from the hardships I faced and viewed throughout my life was education because I knew that in the end, it would help many of the things I faced. Many students from my old neighborhood did not believe they could succeed in college or think they were smart enough to have a career, so they stopped trying. Through my degree, I want to aid students like me with resources that will help them overcome income or location barriers. In addition, I want to prove to them that it is possible to succeed, especially in STEM, even if you do not feel smart enough or good enough to do so. From overcoming my own challenges, I want to help others overcome their own as well.
    Bold Bravery Scholarship
    For most of my life, I have suffered from social anxiety. This caused simple tasks such as asking for help in class or ordering food at a restaurant feel like I was climbing up an icy mountain hanging on only by a thread. Although I did have a few friends and joined some clubs, without having a sense of familiarity when completing tasks, I felt lost and alone. Once I reached my sophomore year of high school, I decided that I needed to make a change. I began to form the philosophy that I still remind myself of when I am feeling anxious: you can not live a life that makes you happy if you are afraid of living it. This ideology pushes me to step outside of my comfort zone more so that I try new things although I may fear it. Slowly, I began to feel more comfortable with sharing my interests with others and became friends as they liked similar things. I taught myself Korean and gained the courage to speak with a tutor. I shared my love for various musical artists and started a dance team with some people that I met. Although I may not have climbed an actual mountain, I feel as though I have taught myself that it is okay to be afraid. Through that fear, I teach myself a little more every day how to be brave.
    Freddie L Brown Sr. Scholarship
    Barren brown trees that have lost their green With squirrels throwing their acorn husks at my head Gnats that buzz and won't leave me alone Even when they've been swatted at hundreds of times A snow-covered winter wonderland reflecting light Which makes the sun seem a little too bright Life is beautiful, isn't it? Even with the gum that got caught under your shoe Or that loose thread that you tried to pull out but just made it longer Despite the little annoyances that may occur in day-to-day life, I'm glad to wake up and experience them