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

Since working in the Juvenile Detention Alternative program, I have asked myself questions like “How can we expected these kids to concentrate and attend class when they are surrounded by violence? What can I do to help a minor – who has a juvenile record, has had limited education, who is coming from jail, a group home, or homelessness, and has been raised with almost no support – become a productive member of society? And what do our communities really need to grow and thrive?”

I am inspired to continue my education because of my diverse experiences and passions. I am a case manager for a human rights organization, I mentor for women’s refugee organization, I have experience volunteering for nonprofits abroad, and I am currently taking classes to obtain my Certificate in Nonprofit Management. It is my hope to graduate from Adler University with my Master’s in Public Policy with a Human Rights Concentration, so that I can have a positive impact on my community and society. I am dedicated to continuing my work with vulnerable populations, with a focus on intersectionality; I would like to learn more about and use applied research on public policy, from development to implementation to evaluation; and I have an overall commitment to public service and advancing human rights to create a more just global society. My interests include addressing poverty with an emphasis on minority representation, women's rights, youth engagement, access to education, health care, and government, job creation and training, and community development. I would also like to better understand the effects of more socially-conscious policies, learn about the trends of the sector, explore innovative and collaborative partnerships, and concentrate on impact, effectiveness, and sustainability.

I am very interested in this scholarship and would like to thank you for reading my essay. Please visit my online professional portfolio for more information at www.kristenmdiaz.squarespace.com

Kristen from Illinois
Adler University