Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

Last semester, I sat down with a few African-American freshmen from University of Georgia (UGA) and Georgia State University (GSU) and spoke with them about their majors, plans for the future, and organizations they were interested in joining. All of them were ready to finish their undergraduate degree and immediately find a job in their field. When they discussed their goals about the future, I was excited at first, until I asked about other future academic goals. The students had no idea and had not thought much about other degrees or continuing education. I advised them that while an undergraduate degree is an amazing first step, the world is constantly changing and an undergraduate degree will soon have the same power as a high school diploma did thirty years ago. I advised that they look into masters programs related to their majors and professional schools, so that they become more valuable and indispensable to employers.
The students were confused on the importance of post-graduate education as they had always been told that an undergraduate degree is the only necessary tool to excel in this world. After our conversation, I realized the misinformation provided to the minority youth and that we must guide students towards graduate education in order to create a better future. I believe that obtaining a graduate degree is the first step towards becoming a role model for future African-American students. As an African-American female, the corporate world has urged me to fight my way to the top and I plan to bring as many African-Americans as I can with me to the top. A graduate degree opens the door to excel in this world and I would love your key to help me unlock and access that world.

Grace from Georgia
University of Georgia