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

4:15 a.m. the sound of my alarm is blaring in my ear. Get up. Shower. Make coffee. I drive ten minutes down the road to my school where I am the first one there. As I sit behind my desk sipping my coffee and reviewing my notes, I think back to why I became a teacher in the first place. I have always firmly believed that education is the gateway for many students to get out of the systems of oppression that trap them in their daily lives; but I never thought I would be in the classroom helping with this process.

In August 2018 I met the biggest bright eyed and intelligent first graders. They would test my patience and stamina daily; yet make me stronger and more passionate each day. Many of my students came from low income households with little to no food or simply a roof over their heads. Seeing the effects of these circumstances daily, I decided to create a program for them to be able to escape their difficulties, hoping that it would allow them to succeed further inside and outside of the classroom. Thus, I founded Queens of CLT: Confident Leaders of Today, an after-school program for elementary school girls. This program is designed for girls to be able to escape their daily realities through social emotional learning and art therapy. Witnessing their resiliency, passion and inspiration flowing through talking and artistic venues is what has inspired me to return to graduate school.

I hope with my MSW I will be able to continue this after school program and introduce it to different communities, while gaining more knowledge on impactful therapies, making an even bigger difference in young girl’s lives. This scholarship will allow me to focus on building my knowledge and skills in social work to be able to expand upon my program, without me having to focus most of my energy on how I am going to afford my education. Granting me with this scholarship money would not only be supporting my education but it will also be supporting young girls across America.

Alexandria from North Carolina
Azusa Pacific University