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Werlie Cius

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Bio

Hello :) My name is Werlie Cius, and I am originally from Haiti; my family and I migrated to the U.S. in 2013. I am a First Generation, Low-Income student. I am currently attending Pomona College in California and will be a sophomore for the fall 2023 semester. I am a prospective Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) major with a minor in Africana Studies. The main reason I chose this was to positively impact my black community. There is a lack of black representation in the legal field and as a black woman, I plan to change that. I plan to pursue immigration and civil rights law. Aside from academics, I also enjoy volunteering. I volunteered with Project Street Light, a local non-profit organization that focuses mostly on youth. We do things like food drives, book events, trash pickup, we painted a mural in my city, and we recently finished putting together 1000 brave bags for orphans all over central Florida. Currently, I volunteer with Sister 2 Sister a program formed by black women to mentor and help black girls in spaces where they aren’t the majority. Lastly, some of my hobbies and interests include dance and theater because they give me the chance to express myself creatively. I am currently a part of the Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company at my school. I also enjoy reading and some of my favorite books are In Cold Blood, Blood is Thicker, and Their Eyes Were Watching God. Although not a hobby, I am an advocate for self-care and will always encourage everyone to take care of their mental and physical health.

Education

Pomona College

Bachelor's degree program
2022 - 2026
  • Majors:
    • Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
  • Minors:
    • African Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics

Maynard Evans High

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Law
    • Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
    • African Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Law Practice

    • Dream career goals:

      Working within the fields of immigration or/and advocacy law

    • Career Explorer

      CareerSource
      2021 – 2021

    Research

    • History

      IB — Student Researcher
      2021 – 2022
    • Ecology, Evolution, Systematics, and Population Biology

      IB — Student Researcher
      2022 – 2022
    • Social Psychology

      IB — Student Researcher
      2021 – 2022
    • Human Biology

      Greater Orlando Upward Bound Math and Science — Researcher
      2020 – 2020

    Arts

    • School

      Performance Art
      Lost Girl, Little Shop of Horrors, Once on this Island, Death Himself
      2018 – 2022

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Sister 2 Sister — Volunteer Leader
      2022 – Present
    • Volunteering

      United Against Poverty — Volunteer
      2021 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      onePulse foundation — Volunteer
      2021 – 2021
    • Volunteering

      Project Street Light — Volunteer
      2021 – Present

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Henry Bynum, Jr. Memorial Scholarship
    When my family moved to America from Haiti, my mom couldn't join us, so my sister stepped in to help me with my everyday needs, including my hair. But once she left for college, I had to figure it all out on my own. So, when I was 14 years old, I went to the beauty store by myself. I left the beauty store empty-handed. However, I was not going to let this stop me; it was simply the beginning of my hair journey. So, I researched hair care and hatched a plan. Finally equipped with hair product knowledge, I headed to the beauty store again. Eventually, my plan worked, and my hair became the healthiest it had ever been. This journey made me realize that I could achieve anything that seemed overwhelming at first with hard work. This mentality followed me into my academics. Taking rigorous classes required me to be resilient given the workload. I was also a part of virtual clubs that required my time. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, I made a plan to help me balance my competing responsibilities. I would do my school work early to have enough time for club activities. At first, it was hard to adjust to the plan, but I persisted, and eventually, everything fell into place. All the hard work and planning skills I learned from my hair helped me then and will help me face future obstacles. The resilience I learned from taking care of my hair will help me as I achieve my biggest goal: helping my black community. I am currently studying Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) and Africana Studies. While studying and learning about cultural norms and trends, I plan to pursue a pre-law track to be able to further help my community. This will help me achieve two of my biggest goals in life. Furthermore, there are so many ways to use a sociology degree that could help me make a difference in my community and other marginalized communities. After getting my degree, I plan to attend law school to focus deeper on civil rights law and immigration law. With the knowledge I acquire, I hope to help marginalized communities like Sherrilyn Ifill fighting for racial justice, and Shirin Ebadi, a human rights activist. Within the legal field, I hope to do as much for marginalized communities as these women. More diversity is needed within the legal field because it gives marginalized communities a chance to be seen from the lens of someone who has experienced similar things. Without meaningful diversity in the legal field, it’s harder to achieve equal justice. The way someone interprets things is directly related to their background, so someone who has never faced racial discrimination dealing with a case that relates to discrimination will have difficulty getting the proper justice for their client. My perspective as a black woman can provide critical insights on finding just solutions to the complex challenges faced by minorities. Marginalized communities are most likely to be discriminated against in their jobs or daily lives. I want to help them get the justice and compensation that they deserve. Furthermore, there are specific cases where black lawyers are indispensable. For example, Ahmaud Arbery, a black man chased and killed by white residents in South Georgia. In this case, a black lawyer would be more likely to recognize the racial intentions behind the predatory pursuit. My goal is to ensure everyone has a fair chance of getting justice. I want disadvantaged communities to know that they are being seen, heard, and believed.
    Catrina Celestine Aquilino Memorial Scholarship
    I was always surrounded by diversity, differing and vibrant cultures, and people that could relate to me and understand my struggles. Experiencing these different cultures was a fulfilling thing and helped to expand my perspectives on things that I wasn't used to. However, when I left for college, it was different. I barely had people around me that I could relate to, but to those I could, we formed a small but impactful community. In addition, the experiences that I had back home made being in a new space more comfortable. So when I listened to a group of black femme-identifying students explain that they barely have that experience, I felt this heavy weight in my chest that stuck with me throughout that Thursday afternoon. At my university, I volunteer for Sister 2 Sister (S2S), a program formed by black women to mentor and help black girls in spaces where they aren’t the majority. This program is a community where these girls can flourish, get advice, learn about their history, get academic help, and be happy and comfortable in their blackness. As Black college students, we gave them hope that they deserve higher education and that they belong in these spaces. It was personally important to me to provide and be a part of this community even if it was just once a week. Being with these girls every Thursday meant something to them; they nearly brought me to tears as they explained the importance of this program to them. This program is also just as life-changing for me, as I listened to them talk I realized this is what I want to do for the rest of my time at Pomona. I want to help these girls, be involved in their lives, and show them that they deserve the same opportunities for excellence as anyone else. Hence, I applied and acquired a leadership position for the program and I will help continue to provide a safe space for this group of girls and others as we expand. I hope to grow and learn as much from these young women as they do from me. For me, this work with diversity and social justice continues beyond college. Diversity and inclusion are essential and are needed in the workplace, especially in the legal field. Diversity gives marginalized communities a chance to see their cases from the lens of someone who has experienced similar things. Without meaningful diversity, it is harder to achieve equal justice. How someone interprets things is directly related to their background, so someone who has never faced racial discrimination dealing with a case that relates to discrimination will have difficulty getting the proper justice for their client. Having a diverse group of individuals can provide critical insights on finding just solutions to the complex challenges faced by minorities. Marginalized communities are discriminated against in their jobs or even in day-to-day life. Inclusion can help them get the justice and compensation that they deserve. For example, there are specific cases where black lawyers are indispensable. Ahmaud Arbery was a black man that was chased and killed by white residents in South Georgia. In this case, a black lawyer would be more likely to recognize the racial intentions behind the predatory pursuit. Inclusion ensures everyone has a fair chance of being seen, heard, and believed, which impacts not only myself but millions of those around me.
    Joshua A. Vaughn Memorial Scholarship
    “Why is getting mental health help such a taboo in the black community?” For whatever reason, mental health within my Black community isn’t highlighted enough and Covid only highlighted that fact. In my experience, we aren’t only expected to live a productive life, we have to do that while dealing with racism and code-switching. The lack of conversation on this taboo topic has caused a mental health crisis, but parents aren’t addressing it. Many of them are still trying to figure out their trauma and cannot provide help for their children, so the vicious cycle continues. I want to see that generational trauma broken, and I believe studying Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) and Africana Studies will aid me. They will allow me to understand the trends in cultural society and norms. To better help the black youth, I need to understand further why these trends have been constant through generations. Only then can I start genuinely working towards making a difference. While studying and learning about cultural norms and trends, I plan to pursue a pre-law track to be able to further help my community. This will help me achieve two of my biggest goals in life. Furthermore, there are so many ways to use a sociology degree that could help me make a difference in my community and other marginalized communities. After getting my degree, I plan to attend law school to focus deeper on civil rights law and immigration law. With the knowledge I acquire, I hope to help marginalized communities like Sherrilyn Ifill fighting for racial justice, and Shirin Ebadi, a human rights activist. Within the legal field, I hope to do as much for marginalized communities as these women. More diversity is needed within the legal field because it gives marginalized communities a chance to be seen from the lens of someone who has experienced similar things. Without meaningful diversity in the legal field, it’s harder to achieve equal justice. The way someone interprets things is directly related to their background, so someone who has never faced racial discrimination dealing with a case that relates to discrimination will have difficulty getting the proper justice for their client. My perspective as a black woman can provide critical insights on finding just solutions to the complex challenges faced by minorities. Marginalized communities are most likely to be discriminated against in their jobs or daily lives. I want to help them get the justice and compensation that they deserve. Furthermore, there are specific cases where black lawyers are indispensable. For example, Ahmaud Arbery, a black man chased and killed by white residents in South Georgia. In this case, a black lawyer would be more likely to recognize the racial intentions behind the predatory pursuit. My goal is to ensure everyone has a fair chance of getting justice. I want disadvantaged communities to know that they are being seen, heard, and believed.