Opportunity Where There Seems to be None

Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

“I am from Richmond.” Oftentimes people would cringe when they hear this from me. As a young girl I constantly wondered why everyone seemed so afraid of my city. Eventually, I was slapped with the reality that I come from a community infamous for its high crime rates and violence. But despite its unfortunate reputation, Richmond has endowed me with countless opportunities, helping me realize my dreams of providing service to the mentally unstable.

Sophomore year was a peak period of uncertainty when it came to knowing my own hobbies and passions. I was a part of both a leadership class and Interact club, but I had no deeper purpose. In the midst of this phase of aimless wandering, I came across the Ivy League Connection. I learned that the ILC was a summer scholarship program exclusively designed for qualified Richmond students who seek to explore Ivy League schools on the east coast. I instantly wanted in. After the long series of steps in the ILC’s highly intensive application process, I found myself on a plane, heading to Brown University for three weeks at absolutely no cost. There I took a rigorous Women and Leadership course in which I studied and analyzed many aspects of gender roles in society. The course was an...

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