Tell me a bit about you.
At Howard I was an English major. I am currently taking classes in race, gender, and public policy at the University of Chicago as an HBCU Bridge Scholar. I hope to enter law school Fall 2019 and eventually become an attorney and legal scholar.
What inspired/motivated you to apply for merit awards?
Walking around campus, I always made sure to read the special displays honoring merit award winners. Learning these stories ensured that since my first days as a Bison, I knew I wanted to pursue a merit award and continue Howard’s legacy of excellence. The goal became personal when I realized the freedom and support merit awards offered towards advancing my own research interests.
You have applied for a few fellowships/merit awards. Some you were awarded, some you were not – what do you feel you gained from the process of applying to those fellowships/merit awards in both instances?
Each application process helped me further refine my academic and career goals. With each essay I also became further committed to my passions as I argued for my proposals. In the end, rejections didn’t matter. The application process affirmed that no matter the avenue, the work I am committed to doing must be done and I will be the one to do it.
Do you regret spending time applying for the fellowships/merit awards you did not win? Why?
I do not regret the time I spent. In fact, I wish I would have put in more time. If you submit the best application you can, then you can truly know that not winning was meant to be. The application process taught me timeless lessons about what I want and how to truly commit myself to setting myself up for success.
What would be your piece of advice to students who are considering applying for these awards but have concerns about how to fit such an opportunity into their academic plans, particularly those that require travel/study abroad?
My recommendation would be to breathe. So often we think of life within a series of time limits – whether it’s four years of college or a strict career timeline. [Fellowship] opportunities are timeless. If you’re approaching it correctly, they will supplement your other goals. The complications or time lost will prove to be worth the navigation.