Sarah, 20 – FUNDED

I was born in raised in the wonderful city of Kansas City, Missouri.  With support from my family and help from God, I have been able to take advantage of many incredible opportunities, such as interning in the Office of the Mayor of Kansas City.  Currently, I am a junior at Harvard College, where I study Education and American Studies (a major I designed myself) and serve as the President of the Black Students Association.  I am also involved in student activism, particularly that which advocates for better institutional support for students of color on campus.  After college I plan to teach for a few years and earn my Masters in Education, as well as a Juris Doctorate before entering the policy world.

My Inspiration:

I stopped attending public schools when I began high school. My school district lacked full accreditation, and I had received a nearly full-ride scholarship from the best college preparatory school in the city.  Throughout my four years in high school, I learned to appreciate the scholarship I had received: because of it, I could attend a private school that provided me access to academic rigor, opportunities and support.  However, it wasn’t until my senior year that I began to fully understand the power of the privilege I had acquired by transferring from public schools to a private school. While I was applying to colleges like Harvard, the friends I had known my entire life were lucky if they were deciding between community colleges and call center job positions. I realized a broken education system had caused these disparities. Although I had always been interested in education, this realization transformed my interest into a passion.

Challenges I Face:  

It can be financially challenging to be a successful student at any college, but particularly at Harvard, where many of the students come from wealthier families.  From little things, like not having the proper attire for internship interviews, to bigger issues like not being able to enroll because of outstanding tuition bills, my experience at Harvard is markedly different from that of the typical Harvard student.

If I get funded:

I will attend conferences that connect and empower student activists from campuses across the country.

My quote of inspiration for others:

Commit to your biggest, most intimidating dreams, so that those after you will be able to chase dreams you could never even imagine.