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Taylor Beam


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Hey there! My name is Taylor Beam, and I am a junior at University of Alaska Fairbanks. I am currently studying abroad in Rome, Italy. I plan to return to Europe fall of 2023 to finish my education. My major is international relations with an emphasis on international law. My interests are piqued mainly by travel and full immersion in other cultures. I am learning French and Italian concurrently. I plan to find a career in business, marketing, and writing after graduation.


University of Alaska Fairbanks

Bachelor's degree program
2020 - 2024
  • Majors:
    • Political Science and Government
  • Minors:
    • International/Globalization Studies
  • GPA:


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • International/Globalization Studies
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      International Affairs

    • Dream career goals:

      Business, international business

    • Barista

      2017 – Present7 years



    2015 – 2015


    • No


    • Political Science and Government

      American University of Rome — Student, this was for a course
      2022 – 2022


    • Ap Art Class

      2019 – 2020

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Key Club — Student
      2017 – 2018

    Future Interests






    Alicea Sperstad Rural Writer Scholarship
    I hated writing. I always hated writing, but I was the best at this particular subject. I won all kinds of nominations, awards, and certificates in middle and high school for publishing my writing. I still hated it. As a third-year Political Science and Global Studies student at the University of Alaska, my major contains mostly research paper writing. I have written hundreds since I started college, and honestly, this just fueled my hatred fire. I was so burnt out and sick and tired of writing, I was about ready to change my major. That's when I met Dr. Jeremy Speight, the Department Chair of my program studies. I continued to take three courses with him, with my first and most consequential being Democracy and Global Studies 202 in the spring semester of 2022. While he was a difficult grader, I learned more in those few short months about how to structure a paper and how to perform quality and enriching research, which then translates into an essay. It wasn't just another "write a paper, get a good grade" class. It was a grade I had to work for, and a grade that to this day I am proud of. I had good grades my entire life, but this time was different. I wrote a theory testing paper as my final submission called "Enclave Rule Theory: Authoritarian v. Democratic. It changed the way I thought about writing. After this course, I have written several more papers-two of which I am particularly proud of that I would also love for you to read. I hope to see them published by my university within the coming months. I now have pivoted towards pursuing a career in writing, albeit slightly different avenue-travel writing. I still do research intense projects regularly, and I am about one year out from completing my degree. However, I work for myself on the UpWork platform where I freelance write for many travel blogs, including Out of Office and MyPinerary. I am a college ambassador for the up-and-coming Out of Office app where I routinely make travel recommendations and reviews. It is refreshing to have not only love but appreciation for a creative outlet that used to feel tedious and pointless. I would use this scholarship to further my writing career by publishing a paper, as well as build my network of clients so that I can continue to make writing my full-time career and passion. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
    Living Well Scholarship
    Clean living was not prevalent in my daily living practices until about five years ago. I had just recently moved to Alaska with my family and was suffering a lot of health issues. My appendix almost ruptured, I had emergency surgery, and was dealing with debilitating migraines all within the first two weeks of moving to a new environment. While it took me a few months to recover, I slowly started biking and weight lifting. Fast forward today, I have started training for competitive powerlifting, meal planning, and clean eating. Fitness has completely taken over my life. Earlier this year, I visited a holistic health doctor and nutritionist and began eating for my specific body composition. Also, living in Alaska, vitamin D deficiency is common as there are roughly three hours of sunlight in the winter months. Red light therapy can be used to combat this; it is also good for boosting mood levels and clearing acne. Alaska has such a beautiful natural outdoors, and a lot of Alaskans are highly environmentally conscious. Being surrounded constantly by beautiful landscapes and wildlife, it is difficult to not want to play a part in clean living. I have had my HydroFlask for about three years now, and it comes everywhere with me. It is genuinely one of the best investments that I have ever made. Alaska is filled with natural springs with such fresh glacier water. Another thing I chose to invest in was sustainable Tupperware. I have a bento box style meal prep Tupperware that I use when I pack my lunches and meal prep my dinners. It even comes with a bamboo fork. I try to avoid using one-time plastic containers and water bottles at all costs. I also opt for sustainable beauty products and aim to thrift nearly all of my clothes. I clean out my closet roughly once a month, and I have a DePop (online thrift store) where I sell all of the pieces that I am no longer wearing. However, whatever doesn't sell, I donate to my favorite local thrift called Bad Mother Vintage. Clean living has been so deeply a part of me for these past few years, I find myself more and more interested in healthy eating practices and food sustainability. My family has grown a garden for the past two summers, where we grow cabbage, carrots, lettuce, and so much more. Eating food that is not only sustainable, but homegrown, is the highest kind of reward for me. In the next few years, I plan to work on my skincare products and support brands like Schmidts and Plant Apothecary that are 100% cruelty free, vegan, and natural everything. There is no time like the present to improve sustainability practices in daily life.
    Overcoming the Impact of Alcoholism and Addiction
    I came home to a cracked front porch column and an open bottle of Jack Daniel’s in the refrigerator on a random Thursday afternoon. My dad had been calling out of work nearly all week, and the entire house was stained with the smell of alcohol. Living with an addicted parent under the same roof taught me how incredibly important it was to be strong for my younger siblings and mom, as well as how to be proactive rather than reactive. I agree with the statement that it is how we choose to respond, and I choose to respond with productivity and positivity. I would be doing myself a disservice to let my father’s actions dictate the direction of my life or my choices. I choose to set a better example for the younger members of my family, instead of contributing to an endless cycle of addiction and negativity. My dad has driven my younger siblings while intoxicated, gone missing for several days with no notice, and traumatized my family ever since I was a child. I think I would be a miserable person if I sat and dwelled on every way my father has ever wronged me. I’m grateful for so many things in life, and having an addicted parent helps put everything into perspective. I would say that I have no regrets, only lessons. I leaned into the older sibling duties and doing that taught me the value of a good work ethic. To escape from home life, I leaned on reading and would do so several hours a day. That turned into me being an exceptional student with opportunities to attend college, a luxury that neither of my parents got. Above all, I’m truly proud of myself for becoming my own parent. Parenting is the hardest job there is, and to step into that role for the lack of my father’s guidance made me grow up faster than I would have like to. I know that I was able to make a difference in my sibling’s lives and keep them safe and secure while my dad was having an episode. Last year, through reparenting and spirituality, I learned to forgive and empathize with my father for everything he put me through as a child. I don’t want to carry the weight of hatred for it is far too heavy for someone like me. Whether my dad is able to beat his addiction, or it ends with his death, I love him and will support him until the ends of the earth.
    International Studies Scholarship
    The study of cultural anthropology can tell us endless knowledge about ourselves, our culture, and our understanding of the world around us. My interests in this field have led me to accept a study abroad program in Rome for the Fall 2022 semester. I am extremely grateful and privileged to be in my current position, and I am immediately looking forward to the language and culture that I am about to experience. The study of other cultures and nations can tell us so infinitely much about how we perceive the world around us. For one, traveling and pursuing a study of anthropology can increase gratitude. Often, we do not realize the freedoms and everyday luxuries that we experience, and that these are not universal. Understanding the living conditions, societal workings, and more of different cultures can put these kinds of things into perspective. Along with this, studying other cultures and nations can tell us patterns of judgment, open-mindedness, education, and curiosity. It us difficult to understand how our brains stereotype people from other cultures if we are never fully exposed to any culture but our own. We should always be respectful and open-minded, but certainly ask questions about different culture, religion, dress, language, and more. Global exploration can offer the United States exposure to the international world. Media coverage is limited and often riddled with stereotypes about any culture outside of the United States. Due to this, many Americans are close-minded with their perception of the global world including outside religions, governments, and clothing. If an educational push towards foreign language was introduced early on, I think this would be a much different story. Beyond the standard one year requirement of foreign language in schools, and about three quarters of Americans only speak English. Being knowledgeable about different cultures and world affairs is not something that is widely recognized in American culture, but I highly disagree with this. Studying culture can develop an appreciation, rather than judgement towards diversity. This is important to being an accepting and well-rounded student and individual. Anthropology fosters curiosity and can teach us new perspectives on everything from health, to relationships, to government. We gain significantly more by opening our minds to new experiences, rather than closing them off to the same old stereotypes. Gratitude strengthens relationships, along with a multitude of other benefits, and the interconnectedness of people and culture. Knowledge is power.
    Mikey Taylor Memorial Scholarship
    Mental health can be one of the largest, most silent struggles a person can go through. I am lucky to have such an amazing and communicative support system with my family, and I am forever grateful for that. My experience with mental health has mentioned my beliefs, relationships, and career aspirations. As for my beliefs, my experience with having such kind and open parents has made me want to provide that for others. I always aim to be open minded and listen more than I speak. Oftentimes, that is all someone will need is an open ear. I think that mental health, especially for men, should be destigmatized through media and education. It might be common sense to some, but asking for help should never be something to be ashamed of. We cannot fight all of our battles on our own. My relationships, both platonic and romantic, are built on strong and open communication. Growing up, my parents placed such an emphasis on communication and acknowledging how I feel, rather than suppressing. Simply talking is extremely underrated, and a lot of arguments can be avoided with a simple conversation. Misunderstandings can also happen over text and over the phone, so it has really taught me to value in-person communication. I think that seeing such a positive view of connecting with people through conversation, especially from such a young age, transformed my relationships and allowed me to go deeper with the people close to me. As for my career aspirations, my experience with mental health has mainly been affected by stress and managing my time properly. I learned how much I am impacted by stress, especially the financial stress of higher education. I have plans to attend law school after my undergraduate degree, which is known to be very expensive. Often, I get discouraged in school, and I suffer from pretty severe Imposter Syndrome. The main thing that has helped me get through this is doing classes online. It is so easy to compare myself to other students and their personal education journey, however taking classes from home during the pandemic forced me to just focus on my own studies. I am truly grateful for this because it transformed both my thoughts and my grades. I made the Dean's List for the first time last semester, after working hard hours every day on my textbook readings and classes while working full time. I value time management, and it is something I have had to work on constantly since leaving high school. Currently, my mental health is the best it has ever been. It took me a long time to get here, but I am so proud of myself and my support systems. Mental health should take priority for everyone, especially college students, and the possibilities become endless.
    Alaska Students - North to the Future Scholarship
    Alaska is hands down one of the most difficult places to live in. The winter starts in October and often ends close to April. They are extremely long, dark, and cold, with temperatures often reaching -25 or below. Seasonal depression is an issue that so many Alaskans deal with in the winter. It becomes a strenuous task to even pick yourself up out of bed, let alone haul fuel, trash, water, wood, etc. Owning a home in Alaska is a full-time job. There is always the chance that some pipe that will freeze or burst and driveways must be regularly plowed, on top of the never-ending household chores. When seasonal depression sets in, due to our daylight being cut down to a few hours, these tasks become overwhelming to do. It is much easier said than done, but you soon figure out that in order to survive, you have to force yourself with everything in you to keep going. Even though it is below freezing and there is sunlight for three hours a day, you can't give up on yourself. Going outside helps with the negative thoughts more than anything else I have tried. Even if it is just taking my dog on a walk, sledding, snowboarding, or tubing thirty minutes a day makes a world of a difference. Taking the winter one day at a time, along with finding happiness in the little things, helps me battle the dreaded winter mental health decline. The sun is such a big part of our mind and body, much bigger than the average person would realize. Doing activities that create joy or any form of self care will allow positivity during the winter months. I was never an outdoor person until I began learning to snowboard and going sledding with my family. Spending quality time with my family and pets is my favorite way to enjoy the cold. Along with this, I spend the majority of my time in the gym weightlifting and focusing on nutrition. Creating that mind and body connection through fitness and food has improved my mental health and transformed my life. Neither of my parents really worked out growing up, so discovering myself and my interests through the gym has been such a rewarding experience. Being a full time college student in Alaska provides its own set of challenges and my main one is financing my higher education. I did receive scholarships to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, however they won't cover my cost of education forever. I have big dreams and plan on going to law school after undergraduate, but my finances must be in order to do so. I am largely dependent on scholarships to fund my education, while I continue to work full time.
    Bold Music Scholarship
    The song that inspires me the most is Common Ground by Luke Howard. It is a bit unconventional, as it is just a piano melody with no lyrics behind it. However, it has gotten me through some of the most important essays, emails, and assignments I have done with my education. I listen to piano music often, and I am in the process of learning how to play right now. Luke Howard is one of my favorite composers because his music is absolutely individual and inspiring. Something about his beautiful and unique melodies help me to feel and express my creativity in the form of writing. Hopefully soon, I will be able to express even more creativity through playing the piano. I feel connected with the melody of Common Ground because it is soft, but strong and it makes you feel something. It is alluring and starts off slow, but picks up into a quiet run. While some people might not find piano melodies inspiring because they don't have actual lyrics, I find this to be quite the opposite. The melody forces you to be introspective and thoughtful without being clouded by meaningless or empty song lyrics. For me, my distractions are reduced and that gives room for inspiration to set in.
    Bold Financial Freedom Scholarship
    My grandmother has worked as a loan officer at a credit union for over forty years. While she gave my plenty of wonderful advice over the years, the sentence the stuck out to me the most: work to learn, don't work for money. I have taken this advice with me all the way through school, to now my undergraduate degree. I look at job opportunities very differently than the typical young adult, and I always consider the next steps for my education. I plan to attend law school after my undergraduate degree, which is definitely going to cost me a pretty penny. I think that working to learn means looking for jobs that pertain to my degree. My goal is to pursue as many jobs and internships in fields that I am interested before undergraduate school is over. I do not want to waste money or time pursuing something that I am not one hundred percent passionate about. Gaining experience through internships is very valuable to me, and I look at where I am right now as a stepping stone into my future. I have learned so many great things in my current education, and I hope to learn so much more before I graduate. I do not ever want to get stuck somewhere where I am unhappy, as I feel like that is most Americans. I am truly passionate about what I am going to school for, and working to learn has helped me get to where I am.
    Lillian's & Ruby's Way Scholarship
    Hey there! My name is Taylor Beam, and I am a currently a sophomore at University of Alaska Fairbanks. I am extremely passionate about prison reform and the strict regulation of private profit prisons. My undergraduate degree will be in Political Science, however I dream to attend law school after my B.A. Private profit prisons are privately owned and operated prisons that profit from higher numbers of inmates. They monopolize on industries like collect calls, commissary items, mattresses, uniforms, and much more. These corporations completely control the prices and have since created monopoles in these industries. CoreCivic and GEO Group have combined profit margins the billions. The price of collect calls for inmates has skyrocketed in recent years, some reaching up to five dollars per minute. I am interested in this field because prisoners and their family members are being taken advantage of and profited off of. There is absolutely no research that shows that these prisons create more opportunity, are safer, or are better for rehabilitation. Some private prisons can even have higher cases of violence and fewer work opportunities for inmates, as observed in Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida. There is currently very little legislature fighting this injustice, as companies like the aforementioned try to keep their agenda very hidden. I have read "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander, among many other books on this phenomenon. Alexander's book affected me deeply, and I have become even more passionate about this issue ever since. After reading her book, I hope to become involved in state legislature eventually and break up the political agenda these large companies have been funneling politicians. It is truly modern day slavery what these corporations are getting away with. So many inmates of color, minorities, are impacted by these monopolies. They face less advantages and opportunities continuously, and are suffering at the hands of the cycle of violence. I continue to be deeply moved by readings I am assigned for school, as well as my own personal research. I know I have big dreams, but I am confident and more driven every day. By continuing my education, I aim to protect inmates equality and legal rights.