Mariah Levy: HBCU Bridge Scholarship at the University of Chicago, 2016-2017

Program Information: HBCU Bridge Scholarship to UC

My name is Mariah Levy, and currently, I’m fortunate enough to be an HBCU Bridge Scholar at the University of Chicago (through the Graham School of Continuing Studies). The program provides Hgraham1fullBCU graduates with a scholarship to take two courses per quarter at the university for one academic year (six courses total). We are considered graduate students at-large (GSAL). It basically means that while we aren’t in any specific degree program, we take the same graduate courses (under the same faculty) as degree-seeking students.
This experience has been extremely rewarding. We have regular check-ins as a cohort with our advisors, Graham School administration, international GSAL students, and HSI (Hispanic-Serving Institution) Scholars. My cohort is supportive of my journey, as well as the graduate students in degree programs. During my first quarter, I went to Graduate Council meetings, and contributed as much as anyone else in the program. I feel connected to the university, and I’m building a network that will last beyond my experience as an HBCU Bridge scholar.
The program is designed to expose HBCU and HSI students to graduate school before making the mental, financial, or time commitment. After graduating from Howard’s philosophy department, I knew I could take many paths. And this program allows me to sample many of them in a short time span, without the stress of financial burden. I think that this experience was also instrumental in securing employment this year, and being accepted into a degree program at NYU. I’m still waiting to hear from other schools (including UChicago), but right now I’m one for one!
I would do it again, and I recommend anyone who isn’t sure of their next steps to apply at the very least.