We are proud to announce the seven finalists for the 2015 DiversityJobs Scholarship award, which include future academics, criminal investigators, policy makers, nurses and speech pathologists. We received thousands of exceptional applications, but we feel that these candidates showed the best combination of passion, integrity, and dedication to their chosen fields of study.
Now we need your help in choosing the one scholarship award winner! The final selection process will involve three different factors:
- outside voting (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media options on the left side of the essays)
- comments left by visitors
- the DiversityJobs Scholarship committee’s scoring of the student’s application and essay
The one winner will be announced on Tuesday June 30th. Please help us with our selection by voting for your favorite essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options on the left side of the essays) and by leaving comments or clicking the ‘star’ icon above the comments section.
Fareed Ben-Youssef, Film & Media, UC Berkeley
I wanted to do something with the movies the moment I watched Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ at six years old. I remember thinking wow, something so horrifying, so unsettling, now that’s a career for me, that’s exciting. But in fact, in many ways I think what interests me about the movies is the fact that, let’s be honest, they show us things we don’t want to see. Whether it be birds or, I don’t know, the squalor of a candidate’s room. I chose film because I had come to see this was a medium unlike any other, and it fit my interests, it fit my identity.
Samra Cordic, International Relations, Webster University
Born in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the 1992-1995 civil war, my family and I were forced to flee our home and immigrate to Slovenia as refugees in 1994 and eventually the United States in 1999. While our story may seem unique, many other families were forced to embark on similar journeys, often losing family members to village militias conducting ethnic cleansing campaigns. Even as a child, I knew that this was wrong. I knew that nobody should ever be killed, tortured, or displaced based on not just their religion, but their ethnic background, skin color, or any other distinction beyond their control. My innate belief in the importance of justice is what ultimately led me to pursue a career in law.
Scott Hunter, Criminal Justice, American Public University
Following roughly eight years of service at home and abroad I left the ranks of the military to obtain a college degree. The intent of this degree was to earn my Right of Passage to the US Army Officer Candidates Course so that I could continue to serve with honor. I majored in Professional Studies Criminal Justice obtaining numerous Dean’s List awards while working full time as a janitor and taking no less than 15 hours a semester.
Taji Alessandra Hutchins, Government, Harvard University
When asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I used to say that I wanted to be ‘Queen of the world’. Now older and wiser, I realize that that is not a feasible aspiration. But I do want to be a Senator, or maybe even President. I want to use a position of political power to impact my constituents in a positive way, creating demonstrative change in the lives of many.
Adedamola Ladipo, International Development, University of Denver
When I moved to America 14 years ago I was the Nigerian kid, with a British accent, living in Virginia; hardly the quintessential, suburban Virginia high school student. Seldom did I find myself feeling comfortable in any particular social group. I was an aloof kid with an affinity for many “nerdy” things and a cultural background that often perplexed people. I found myself reclining into a state of confusion, alienation, and lack of self-confidence. It was not until my volunteer work in college that I realized these traits, which I had come to perceive as burdens, were gifts, for I was part of a much larger social community of global citizens.
Tara Larkin, Nursing, Monterey Peninsula College
I am not entirely certain how I chose my major; maybe it chose me. Some have said nursing is a calling. I’m not sure I would go so far as to say I was called. I do feel an affinity for connecting with people in crisis, and all hospitalized patients and their families are in crisis. Since 1983, I have worked as an LVN, primarily in behavioral health and long-term care.
Rachel Lillian Wong, Communication Disorders, California Baptist University
I attended a mission trip to the Tenderloin district in San Francisco, one of the most dangerous places in California. As I talked to the homeless people there, I realized that they were just appreciative to have someone listen to them. These people wanted someone who would hear their opinions, to know their voice mattered. All these decisions led to experiences that have encouraged me to pursue the major Communication Disorders, in which I can have a career as a speech-language pathologist, serving others who are physically incapable.