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Gabrielle, 20 – FUNDED

Gabrielle D. ultimately wants to be able to champion progressive changes in areas like global warming and climate change, sustainability, poverty and homelessness, reproductive rights, and gun control. No big deal, right?! This inspiring young woman and 1,000 Dreams Fund Scholarship recipient is a student at Towson University, where she’s currently pursuing a Political Science degree. Read on for more about her plans for the future.

What is your professional dream?

I want to find a career that I fall in love with in the realm of law, government, and politics. With all the injustices that I continually observe in the world — social and otherwise — I want to make necessary changes that will ideally improve everyone’s lives domestically and abroad. With that, I also want to travel the world so that I can immerse myself in cultures beyond my own and grow to understand the idiosyncrasies of peoples worldwide. I also enjoy giving my time to worthy organizations and would like to assist the less fortunate, promote a wider array of basic human rights for all, and advocate for marginalized groups and individuals.

How will you use the 1,000 Dreams Scholarship?

It will fund a portion of my attendance to study abroad in Rome, Italy this upcoming fall.

How is this scholarship helping you get closer to your dream?

This scholarship is helping me get closer to my dreams because it is not only funding part of my study abroad experience, which I have wanted to participate in since I was 12 years old. Also, traveling outside the U.S. — to any country, really, but I have always wanted to visit Italy — is the first step in learning about different cultures in an authentic environment.

What advice do you have for other young women who are wanting to pursue their dreams?

I would say to actively pursue your dreams, regardless of what anyone says, but realize that it will not happen immediately nor without hard work and dedication. I, for example, have wanted to travel and study abroad for the past eight years but never had the opportunity or financial capability. I have been working for a few years and saving everything I make, and I began planning my study abroad experience the second I transferred colleges so I could make this dream a reality.

Have you had any setbacks? How did you move past them?

One of my main setbacks was the financial aspect of studying abroad; I do not come from a wealthy family, so the enormous cost of going to school in another country was daunting. I knew for years that I wanted to study abroad when I finally got the chance, so I planned ahead and was able to save some money to begin putting towards the program, flights, and my living expenses. Using my financial aid and applying for numerous external scholarships has also made it possible for me to afford the majority of my program.

What’s next for you? What is your next goal?

My immediate goal is to culminate my undergraduate education by studying abroad in Italy and I obviously want to graduate with honors this December. Afterwards, I intend to apply for internships in law, government, and politics to gain additional knowledge and experience that will help me when applying for and committing to full-time jobs in a few years.